@Pooby: I think one should be extremely naive not to see this as a aqui-hire (If I understand correctly what this means). - and in response to your edited post (Maybe we should stop replying in edits
): Yes, that is not good news. Currently working with a small Maya based studio, I have a lot of work picking up their jaws from the floor when I do simple stuff in ICE, maneouver around the interface and set up render passes. Damn shame, as SI really is a good package. But I somehow feel that the need to go all doomsday, due to the lack of a SAP (Which never existed before 2011) is maybe a bit of running down the river to pick up the water and put it on the mill once again.
@Tekano: At the point of aquisition, SI could hardly be a thorn in anybodies toes. Maya dominance on the market was, and is, overwhelming - excluding Max from the comparison. Why AD bought SI is not clear to me, but I presume patents and the experience from creating ICE was the main interest - as well as getting a broader audience for the suites.
And finally: No, the future for SI does not look bright - thank god the package is already so robust that I can make my money with prior releases - but there are alternatives (Houdini, Cinema 4D). Obviously it is easier for me to be relaxed about these issues as I did not build a studio around a software package, and I do understand the amount of money and time invested into doing so, but if we want a software not ruled by economical interests, maybe open source solutions are a better choice.