The Linux Foundation unifies Software-Defined Networking powers could be a significant step towards realising some of the more interesting potentials of Software Defined Networks, which otherwise would be in danger of becoming o-so-much more hype.
Aside from the obvious fact that SDN enables large Internet players to build vast switching infra-structure without switch operating system license fees, there are other benefits from a separated control plane in networking.
Of these, some such as the virtualising of physical network infra-structure can and are happening through the eco-system evolving in a natural manner - for example VXLAN/NVGRE (lets not get personal here..) both support virtualised LANs by tunnelling L2 inside of L3 protocols. As this technology matures, the host requirements (including checksum offload of both the inner and outer IP protocols) gets realised and the NIC/OS vendors will all get there with support in the end.
Other potentials require serious cross vendor cooperation, innovation and contribution. For example, think about federating SDN controllers for multiple layers of virtual and physical switching ... hey, this gets interesting and isn't going to get solved by the community of vendors within their existing standard bodies and who in isolation will naturally tend to the closed solutions that entirely miss the point.
So I've got my pinch of salt primed, but just for once, am hoping I don't need to be taking it.