CNX2 has been frustrating. The concept, at least after NIK's contribution, was brilliant. But, the execution was deeply flawed with instability. The stability improved in the last iteration or two. I made a major effort in time to completely master all of the options in CNX2, and it is amazing what one can do with the NIK effects. What I cannot do there, and printing, are the only times I go to PS. And, then, one still gets bit in the butt by CNX2 in the occasional case where the program hangs up; result one loses the entire effort put into the image.
The CNX2 interface is more powerful and varied as to the effects of the NIK selections which can be accomplished compared to how NIK effects are applied in the plug ins. Viveza being the most direct comparison. But my bet is that we are going to lose that advantage over the plugins in the future. Lightroom and PS seem to be where processing of RAWs will be. But, PS does not always do the best rendering of a NEF compared to CNX2. And, PS/Lightroom basically lose the camera settings when the raw file is pulled in, which is an annoyance I still need to get used to.
I'll survive in the PS world, but I am not happy about what appears to me to have been the neglect of the NX2 package by Nikon.
Curiously, Nikon bought a piece of the NIK company, I believe around 30% if I recall correctly. So, Nikon would have received some cash if Google bought the entire company. One would have a thought a major stockholder could have negotiated some future protections for Nikon camera owners who invested substantial time and effort into mastering the product.
I do not not recall ever seeing a published account of who owns the code contained in CNX2, Nikon or NIK, or whether Nikon retains the rights or a license to adapt or use the U-point selection method in the future.