@Bass:I don't think that a Microsoft solution need replace a third party one like NHibernate. For certain projects with simple requirements I might use EF because it's there and doesn't require any additional libraries or configuration. If the project would benefit features that NHibernate can do better, then I will use that.

Out of the box vs. third party functionality has always been a balancing act. What if companies never chose to enter certain markets because a third party was already there? That's true of every industry, not just software. Throughout history companies have leapfrogged each other, and there are always companies who spring up to service deficiencies in another companies products in a complementary way. A good product is going to contiue to innovate, and isn't going to be intimidated by another product. Instead, they are going to keep pushing the envolope, and find new things to do that keep them ahead of the game.

Does that mean Microsoft is off the hook? No. What they probably need to do more of is have the evangelists engage with these complementary projects and see what they can do to help each other. Maybe Microsoft needs to do some marketing to show people what other products are available if the core Framework libraries don't cut it.