M$ attempted to make an app called Silverlight that would dethrone Flash as the king of Internet content. Silverlight isn't going anywhere, but that doesn't keep M$ from trying to push it. They also wanted Silverlight on Linux, but they were too worried about that pesky GPL. de Icaza to the rescue. He started up the Mono project to make an open source version of Silverlight. Well, sort of. There was indemnification for Mono. To get it, you needed to get it from Novell. Also, Mono was based on a Silverlight build that was old when it came out. The indemnification only covers that version, so while Silverlight continues to advance, Mono is holding stagnant.
de Icaza kept saying everyone, from Richard Stallman to people like me, were idiots. Mono was completely safe to use. So much so, some Linux distros started including it (I'm looking at you, Ubuntu), and GNOME started baking its functionality into its desktop. de Icaza kept saying Mono was the wave of the future.
He kept saying that even as M$ ported Silverlight onto Android.
With Novell being sold to Attachemate, several Novell properties that were seen as noncritical have been dumped. That includes the Mono project. de Icaza, however, recently started a start-up enterprise dedicated to continuing to develop Mono. But because Novell is technically gone, the indemnification doesn't apply anymore, and what's more, since this is de Icaza's company instead of Novell, M$ could potentially sue de Icaza for violating their software patents..
Miguel? Dude? The horse is DEAD.