Wow, leave this thread for a little while, and all hell breaks loose. :)
A few things come to mind. Jonathan confirms, in a round about way, what was said in the intro. The industry is driven by several forces, and they don't generally result in gear that is great for the person who just wants to get from here to there in the winter. For example, great cross country racing gear trickles down to the average groomed skier. Similarly, we have really light Randonee gear, made for racing, that works well for general use. Not all of the improvements come from the extremes, fortunately. As I said in an earlier post, waxless bases are much better than before, even though they aren't used by racers.
In some ways, this gear is like really good waxless skis: Maybe it isn't the best of the best, but it is still really good, and should appeal to lots of people. Even though I'm in the West, I agree with the earlier post, in that the great appeal of these skis is their short size. Anyone can make short skis, of course (some call them Skiboards) but these are a great compromise. They have just enough camber to glide and just enough rise to prevent face plants (especially in the Spring, where sun cups can be murder on a short ski) while still maintaining a good edge. They do all this in a package that is nice for hauling. The ability to haul skis like this is a huge bonus, and should not be dismissed lightly.
Here are a couple examples of why this product should appeal to a lot of folks. I make local references (to spots in Washington State) but don't worry if you've never heard of these spots. They aren't that interesting (just nod along as if listening to your niece talk about boy bands).
The first example is Kendall Lake, close to Snoqualmie Pass. This is a favorite for lots of folks in the winter. Some ski this with sturdy gear, so they can make turns up high. Others, like myself, ski it in moderate cross country gear (light boots and skis with more sidecut than the super skinny stuff used in the tracks). But most of the people on this road use snowshoes. I often pass these people going up and down. Despite the fact that I'm faster and using less energy than the average snowshoe user, I notice more and more snowshoes every year. My gear doesn't cost much more (if any) than the snowshoes, so I'm sure that's not the biggest factor. No, the big factor is skill, and a willingness to fall down once in a while (I'm not that skilled). Most of these folks just want to be up in the mountains, and snowshoes work fine. Most of them don't want to spend the time to learn to ski (the hardest part is matching your ability to the conditions). If you suggested to them that they can spend a big wad on Rando Race gear, it just won't happen. Even the cost of standard Randonee or Telemark gear will raise some eyebrows. On the other hand, buying a pair of three pin boots, along with these skis doesn't sound so bad. Plus, you could save yourself even more money by just getting the universal bindings. Those have the added advantage of being easily transferable to anyone else.
As much as I would like to see the permanent skin replaced with a waxless base, I don't think that is the most important addition. The big key, to me, is having ski crampons. To go back to that example again, I was on that road last weekend. Unfortunately, even though we had a good start to snow season here, we are experiencing a little drought right now (it's been a couple weeks since we've had a lot of snow). So, the road was very icy. I expected this, and brought my snowshoes. I did see a few skiers, but most of them had sturdier equipment (sturdier than I own). I only saw one with skinny skis, and she was carrying them down. I commented on that, and she said she did just fine going up. This makes for a great case study of why these skis, with crampons, would be really popular. Glide up, and, at worse, walk down. No need to carry your skis, just put them in "snowshoe" mode, and you'll be fine. If you are a beginner (or even if your not) and the terrain (or the conditions) get too nasty, just put on the crampons, and go down.
This leads me to my next example. For this weekend, I plan on visiting a mountain that starts with moderate logging roads, then hits a wooded trail until the summit. I will be traveling with a couple of friends of mine. They both snowshoe. I would love to bring these along, and glide my way up the moderate sections, then attach the crampons when things get nasty. I could easily sell a couple pairs of these, given that experience. As it is, though, without crampons, I'm not so sure. Even if I had these (they are on order) I'm not sure I want to attempt the dicey sections with these. I guess I can always take them off and plunge my way down, but I would much rather have snowshoes (for those sections). On the other hand, it is quite likely that it will be icy for almost the entire trip. If that's the case, then we'll carry our snowshoes, and wear Yaktrax (or equivalent). The ease with which these skis can be carried would prove to be very useful, if that happened. In other words, if I add crampons to these, I may never snowshoe again. That's saying something, and I like it.