In layman terms,here is how the Microsoft Community Promise work -
No one needs to sign anything or even reference anything. Anyone is free to implement the specifications as they wish and do not need to make any mention of or reference to Microsoft. Anyone can use or implement these specifications with their technology, code, solution, etc. You must agree to the terms in order to benefit from the promise; however, you do not need to sign a license agreement, or otherwise communicate your agreement to Microsoft
Now this could gain some respite for Novell and the Mono Project developers from the anti-Mono crowd. Because, with it's community promise, Microsoft has made it clear that it will not force its hand on open source initiatives like Mono which have its roots in C#.
On a personal front, I use tools like Tomboy, GnomeDo and FSpot on a regular basis. And it would make me very sad if they were to die a forceful death.
Peter Galli has more details on his blog.
What do you think of this Microsoft initiative ? Does it bode well for Mono Project and applications developed using Mono ?