I don't see any problem with ActiveState and Microsoft cooperating closely - Perl is not Java. Perl does not have the (ridiculous) claim of "Write once run anywhere", Perl is the swiss army chainsaw. And if I can use Perl comfortably under Windows, why should I not want to ? Writing portable Perl is already possible and already needs lots of consideration and forethinking, as there are many modules that are either not available or not with the standard distribution on the different platforms - on the other side, there already are some cross-platform modules (like the path-conversion module whose name I forgot), but if I want to administer/do Win32 specific stuff, why should I not use Perl ? Should I use something else, because there is some "pureness" in Perl I have not yet seen ?
There is nothing in Perl that Microsoft could extend or embrace that could not go to other platforms or be useful under Win32 only. For those Microsoft-haters, the whole thing has the drawback of making Win32 a more viable platform for administration, but hey, such is life ;).
On a completely unrelated note, this will finally get my cross-platform Perl worm off the ground (Abigail is rumored to have written such a worm) - the possibilities ;) - Just imagine - I_Love_You.pl (pronounced "I love you Perl")