The details on what's really going on between Microsoft and Halo series developer Bungie are still foggy, but Game Informer helps to brush away some of the fog of future console wars by detailing more specifics on the matter. According to GI, interested parties have purchased the naming rights of the development studio from its parent company, with Microsoft retaining rights to the Halo franchise. No surprise there. GI's unnamed source, however, had more to say on the rumoured split.
What's potentially more interesting is that Microsoft may also retain "right of first refusal" on future Bungie developed titles according to the source. That means they get first shot at, say, Mister Chief's Cook Off, should Bungie decide to deviate only slightly for its next title.
Again, this is not official word from Microsoft or Bungie, but from anonymous sources cited by Game Informer. Something is up and we're still looking into it. We'll keep you updated.
Bungie Actually Leaving Microsoft? [Game Informer]