yep, it's a long time Microchip wanted to acquire Atmel. few months ago,they won negociations. I like Microchip products, and this is a solid company (I started by learning microchip like lot of people!). They have started to release an MPLAB Xpress some times ago, which is a cloud based MPLAB, with community etc..I have not tried it, as I prefer my offline compilers but I hope their association with atmel will be promising in future for us..