The news of Iron Ruby possibly being euthanaized by Microsoft sincerely surprised me. I have long felt that the Iron projects are a nod to the real developer from a corporation that often panders to the drag and drop community. Pointing resources at an initiative that will never make them money (in a measurable way) caused many of us to believe that there was a part of MS that was inspired to give back to the people that have been building applications and bringing them Windows and SQL Server hosting fees for years.
This comes on the heels of Microsoft.Data.dll and Visual Studio Light Switch being announced. It's very difficult to get a reputation in the development world as a skilled and knowledgeable contributer when your primary focus is .NET. Many look at us like bubblegum coders, not really able to tread water without our WYSIWYG IDE This type of progression does not help.
I really hope it is not the intention of MS to phase out Iron Ruby and it is all just rumor and happenstance. I know that either way I will be continuing my pursuit to learn Ruby better and keep filling up my toolbox. I will be keeping a close watch as the rest of this story unfolds.
In other news Rob Conery is working to rally the troops for a triage mission. If it comes down to it, it will be hard for me to say "If MS doesn't care about keeping this project alive why should I?" However, I do see IR as a valuable resource for diversifying the .NET community. I would love to be a part of this should the gauntlet be thrown.