While I personally thought Autodesk would announce next (not this) release would be the final release of Land Desktop, the announcement itself really comes as no surprise. Since the Technology Preview release of 2004, Civil 3D has evolved from a really cool new technology to a technology now able to sustain real-world design. For firms still using Land Desktop, switching to Civil 3D has less to do with the technical abilities of the software, and more to do with the cultural paradigm and the raw cost.
Civil 3D is not an incremental upgrade to Land Desktop; it’s a replacement for Land Desktop. For that reason many firms still have weighed Civil 3D vs LDT, and simply decided to stay on LDT subscribing to the notion “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”. More often than not that argument is code for, we’re not willing to commit to the hours upon hours of training our staff will need to be productive on Civil 3D. While Civil 3D certainly has the potential to save lots of time [money] in the long run, it’s difficult to convince management to forgo the necessary cost of training.