I just discovered that Microsoft and Avanade are cooking new versions of the Application Blocks. They are to be packaged under the new Enterprise Library name.
Enterprise Library is a major new release of the patterns & practices Application Blocks, which are reusable software components designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges. Enterprise Library 1.0 will include blocks for Data Access, Exception Handling, Caching, Configuration, Logging & Instrumentation, Security and Cryptography, in a single integrated download. The Library will feature improved consistency, extensibility, integration and ease of use, and will include a GUI-based configuration editing tool, generally eliminating the need to hand-edit XML configuration files for the blocks.
Regarding Avanade's involvement and its ACA.NET framework:
Enterprise Library is being developed out of Microsoft and will be a patterns & practices deliverable. Microsoft has licensed parts of ACA.NET to use within Enterprise Library 1.0, but it will also include code from previous p&p application blocks as well as newly developed code. The project team includes a combination of Microsoft, Avanade and third-party developers. Avanade has plans to build a new version of ACA.NET which will be a superset of Enterprise Library, distributed through Avanade engagements. We are also beginning to work with other partners who may be building on and/or contributing to future versions of Enterpirse Library. However the core Enterprise Library will be a Microsoft deliverable, covered by a Microsoft EULA.
[Tom Hollander, Product Manager, Microsoft patterns & practices]