I just attended the Aruba 802.11ac launch and it was not what I expected. When the event started, I expected a full day of 802.11ac spec, and AP design discussions. While these topics were definitely covered, the discussions quickly moved on to other subjects.
Don't take my word for it. Watch the videos. The actual 'Look At Our Pretty New AP' session didn't really last that long. The AP didn't even get past around. If anything, the actual AP was like an appetizer to the main course of ClientMatch, Microsoft Lync, and Netflix. (Followed by an Exafort session for dessert).
To me, the format of the event was the real message: "If you want to play in the 802.11ac league, you had better bring a lot more than just an access point."
In Aruba's case, this means ClientMatch and AppRF. While we've already heard quite a bit about AppRF, this was their first chance to really showcase ClientMatch to the general public. In a nutshell, ClientMatch is designed to give the APs the ability to intelligently move clients around as application needs and/or RF needs change in the environment. This comes in really handy for 802.11ac since higher throughputs are only possible at shorter distances and 'stick clients' start to create real issues. Chris Lyttle did a nice blog post titled: A sticky problem - Wi-Fi clients that won't roam. I'd highly recommend giving it a read if you are new to the idea of sticky clients.
I think I agree with the direction Aruba has taken. 802.11ac is about more than just bigger numbers on the spec sheet. It also makes solving somewhat small issues, like sticky clients, much more important. By offering more than just another access point, I think they offer a far more viable solution. Of course, this all depends on whether or not all the other pieces of the puzzle work as required. Time will tell.