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I was under the impression that BF3 would be the true PC successor of BF1 and BF2. That is, a game with very good support for PC gamers. Pie menus in BF2 would allow you to place a marker on the map indicating an enemy vehicle or sniper, place a marker for a supply drop or artillery. You could also use the pie to ask a friendly for a ride. They were quite useful actually, for you know ... teamwork.
I really don't see why any player would have wanted them removed. And as far as development/programming goes, I don't see them as particularly difficult to implement.
It wasn't in the Alpha and there was a pretty big petition and get it in which they listened to thankfully. They didn't have enough time to get it into beta though since its a month old build. You'll see it in the final.