The rate that Pixar is modernizing the engine is nothing short of impressive, and it might actually be poised to retake the crown it lost to Arnold many years back (considering that the old legacy language and reyes architecture is more or less history now).
On that, it would be wise for Autodesk to move fast if they want to protect their investment, as each new feature from Pixar would give less and less reason to spend the additional cash for it. It seems like the rendering market in general is becoming very competitive now. I can see Cycles surviving simply because it’s free for any use, but releases like this make you wonder regarding the eventual fate of solutions offered by smaller vendors (such as Indigo, Maxwell, and Thea).
You can always count on Pixar to be at the cutting edge of render research, with the added bonus of sharing some of their algorithms via online papers (so maybe some more of their technology will trickle down to Cycles).