Hey, El Reg - Microsoft is *not* becoming an ASF member!
ASF membership cannot be bought: people earn their individual membership by merit, and there's no such thing as ASF member companies.
I am very pleased to see this happening. It won't make me love Microsoft's current products much more (although, as my son notes, the XBox is a nifty piece of kit), but it is great to see more and more people inside Microsoft understand the importance of open source in today's IT landscape.
Update: as I write this, the Google Number for +apache +microsoft +sponsor* is 682,000
Update: it's been at least 24 hours since I posted a comment to the Register article linked above, indicating their error. Surprisingly, that comment hasn't been moderated in yet...