UPDATE: My post triggered an e-mail exchange with Rowan Miller from the Entity Framework group. He wanted to explain and clarify some of my comments around EF. I’ve added them in the appropriate sections below. Thanks for the clarifications Rowan!
I understand the need for making some breaking changes to the framework as we transition to newer versions but one of the big selling features of .NET has been writing apps without having to worry too much about having the exact same version on end machines. Microsoft seems to be moving away from this goal with newer releases. .NET 4.5, as a framework, has a lot of nice, new features. But as the next version of the framework I think it fails on many levels. I’m fearful that this is becoming the new trend at Microsoft given the recent releases of .NET and other libraries.