I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: in the near future, Microsoft and Novell will announce that Microsoft is opening up all or most of .NET and chunks of the Longhorn technologies. This will include submitting Avalon/XAML, Indigo , and the rest of .NET to ECMA as standards. Furthermore, royalty free grants to all relevant Microsoft-owned patents will be issued. Here's my evidence: first, Novell is implementing Avalon and Indigo. They wouldn't be doing this if they didn't have a reasonable expectation of being able to distribute it legally. Second, during the recent GNOME Mono/Java argument cryptic statements like this were made: “The Mono/Java argument is a real mess in this respect – we discussed it some in public, but it turns out all the relevant facts aren't public.” What relevant facts are those? A Microsoft patent grant would be very relevant. Third, Microsoft continues to insist that they're not going to be Evil anymore (really, you can trust us this time). But keeping Avalon/XAML proprietary (and trying to proprietize the web) would be proof of Microsofts continued Evilness. And finally, there's this very incriminating photo of Novell's Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza participating in a chorus line with Microsoft's CTO. What more proof do you need that some sort of (unholy?) alliance is afoot? You heard it here first, folks.

More: This may only refer to the C#/ECMA patent grant but Miguel has also said this: “As previously reported we (Novell) are working on the legal items ourselves, and will have an official statement when we are done.”