Re: Ruler or Gumstick?
Both the Intel and Samsung formats have multiple players.
The Samsung "NF1" / NGSFF is heavily based on the M.2 design, and I see nothing "dangerous" about that fact (FUD much?). In some circles the thing is referred to as "M.3"! By design, the Samsung devices will work in an M.2 connector (as long as you have the physical space around it). So the "NF1" module could be described (in M.2 terminology) as a "30110"
And, contrary to the above assertion, it offers a major improvement over M.2 in terms of board real-estate: the 22mm width is just too wide to stack two of them in a 1U space (which is 44mm). The point of the wider format (at 30mm) is that you can mount them vertically in a 1U, plugging into a mid-plane (exactly the same concept as Intel's uses).
The divergence is seems to be that Intel is targetting "large rack" servers, where >27" depth might be routine, while Samsung is aiming at an incremental improvement over M.2/U.2 while supporting "short rack" configurations (<24") and non-rack applications.
The biggest challenge with either approach in the 1U configuration is getting the heat out, and Intel is less attractive in that regard because of the encapsulation. By focusing on the SSD only, Samsung makes it easier for designers to add mounting hardware to support whatever cooling scheme suits the application. (Same is true for M.2 over U.2).