8BitJoystick aka Jake Metcalf, who first broke the news of the Bungie-Microsoft split a week ago, thinks he knows why Microsoft let go of Bungie:
"By letting them go Microsoft prevented a mass exodus of employees from Bungie. I think this was all about employee retention and preventing a brain drain. This move is is about creating promotion opportunities to grow for people that have been working away on Halo for the past decade. By having the top of Bungie be a Bungie employee it will allow people there to have room to move up the ladder and get better positions as they grow. By giving Bungie some distance Microsoft kept the company together and ultimately I think that is the best for Microsoft and everyone else..."
"Bungie LCC is still going to have a very very close relationship with Microsoft..."
8BitJoystick then speculates on what could be coming next from Bungie: Halo 3 download packs, Halo spin-offs, Halo 4, Pimp at Sea, Pathways into Darkness, and four other possibilities for future Bungie games. He also briefly mentions Microsoft's so-called "publishing rights of refusal," which allows Microsoft to veto any Bungie's new game on another system like the PS3.