I had a chat with the maintainer, and although it was not originally meant to replace the original package, another maintainer asked for the original package to be moved to obsolete.
What is also missing from the new package is the otf font.
here is what the maintainer said:
I didn't include otf versions with the package because I intended this
to be a LaTeX support package. In rechecking the package details and
finding that the documentation did not recompile as I expected, I
found that I had omitted 3 files from the original package---the tfm's
and the fd for ts1 encoding, which contains the straight quotes. I'll
resend the corrected version to CTAN ASAP. All glyphs print correctly when using
both latex+dvips+ps2pdf and pdflatex workflows.
It was not written as a replacement, but became so after Karl Berry
suggested that he move his package to obsolete, where it is still
available and may be installed for your own use custom use.
I'm not willing to include the otf fonts in my package because I don't
want to have to support them for use in LuaTeX and XeTeX. I suspect
they will require considerable massaging to be able to used except in
a very basic manner because, like the inconsolata ttf fonts from which
they were derived, they do not use unicode names exclusively, and they
contain no lookup tables.
I had an update from Karl Berry on the tex-live mailing list:
the replacement of inconsolata was intentional. In fact, it was my
suggestion (I had created the original package), since Michael's new
version seemed better in every way. (He had indeed originally
uploaded it to CTAN as inconsolata-zi4.)
I failed to realize that Michael's package omitted the otf's.
Michael, would you mind including them? I recognize the idea of
"LaTeX support", but still, seems much simpler to just include the
otf's than to have a whole separate package for them? That way
everything is just there ...
As for the .sty file name, I did see that the new package didn't have
inconsolata.sty, but I knew perfect compatibility was not going to be
plausible, so changing documents to use the new .sty name seemed the
best approach. I wouldn't go that route in all cases, but this one is
not a core part of the system or anything. If you need perfect
compatibility, probably just keeping the old inconsolata around is the
only viable way ...