Microsoft finally throws Miguel de Icaza a bone
De Icaza has been talking for years about reproducing parts of Microsoft's .NET development environment as an open source effort, in the mistaken belief that it would pull open source developers to build software using .NET technologies. He was obsessed with Microsoft from the time he interviewed for a job there and was not chosen. He was acquainted with Friedman before the pair met at Microsoft where the latter was an intern on the IIS team.
With Microsoft having failed to gain any traction in the mobile market, it is desperate for some means to gain a foothold, any foothold. What it has forked out for Xamarin is small change, even though the revenue stream at Redmond is not half as healthy as it once used to be.