The only thing that seperates them is that Gene Roddenberry had a genuine interest in science-fiction so we got something like The Motion Picture, whereas I honestly don't think Abrams understands what science-fiction is beyond "an action film with some aliens in it".
Regarding this, you really should go back and study the history of TMP. Virtually everything Roddenberry pitched for the movie was viewed as pretty much incoherent. It wasn't until more of what Foster, Livingston, et al. wrote and started to show in the script that TMP got greenlit.
Roddenberry did have a genuine interest in sci-fi, but I also think Abrams does as well. And if he hits something he doesn't know, he's smart enough to have surrounded himself with folks who do know.
Much like Roddenberry did when starting TOS, he was smart enough to bring in Coon, Fontana and so on.
What would you say to the highly-respected science fiction people who viewed TOS in 1966 as an adventure show with some aliens in it? I can't recall the names now, but that was the general idea from some science fiction people at the time.
Back to topic, we have people mourning the changing of Star Trek, who are probably the same people who would slam the Abrams movies for revisiting the TOS characters and not going into the 25th or 3025th Century and changing into something more "modern".