Not FULLY supporting ESRI in MapPoint is a GROSS oversight on the part of Microsoft! Publishing and promoting a buggy COM import program, despite the disclaimers of it being unsupported adds insult to injury!
The ESRI data format IS the standard for GIS data. Here in Michigan, the state as well as the regional Metro Council provide GIS data in the ESRI format. The State supplies 80+% of the baseline data most small government entities or buisinesses would want for FREE!
This is the equivelent of attorneys or CPAs having access to 80+ % of forms/analysis worksheets they need in WordPerfect/1-2-3 format and Microsoft saying; Sorry, Word/Excel doesn't import WordPerfect/1-2-3 files, you are out of luck. Obviously the product managers for Word and Excel were a lot brighter than those for MapPoint!
Our Township is creating a Strategic IT Plan for the next three years. Because MapPoint doesn't support the industry standard and readily available ESRI data format, it will not be considered as a GIS tool, nor will it be recommended as a tool for any developer or business that wants to do business within the Township.
Microsoft's loss is MapInfo's and ESRI's gain!