I'm happy to see that FPGAs are finding their ways into datacenters for unexpected uses (I mean compared to their traditional uses), but at the same time it was far from being the first choice "we looked at software, then GPUs and then FPGAs". And why?
Because "The FPGA tools are too slow, there are too many warnings and not great debugging -- but that's not new." Combine that with the fact that RTL is still horrible to write (and whether you use old or new HDLs does not change a lot IMO), and they had to come up with "a middle ground between C++ and RTL where people can program". Interesting, it sounds a lot like Cx.
Of course if Microsoft and Baidu had known about ngDesign, they could have used an Eclipse-based IDE featuring on-the-fly error checking and fast code generation. We have plans for a fast simulator + debugger, Microsof and Baidu feel free to contact us!