The Register is reporting today that Apache will shortly announce an Enterprise Service Bus project.
IBM's Bobby Woolf has a good set of thoughts and links on the concept of an ESB here.
It will be interesting to see what Apache come up with here. The critical point about an ESB is that it's an architectural device. Sure - you may choose to implement it with a specific product but you should never view the implementation of an ESB as the installation of a piece of software - that is just the means to an end.
Successfully implementing an ESB strategy means changing the way you think about enterprise development... you no longer write your applications to be autonomous with respect to partner interactions. Instead, you rely on some other service - the bus - to mediate your interactions with other applications and systems. This simple and powerful concept is easy to describe but takes effort to implement.
Competition (if that is what this is - who knows?) is always a good thing. If this forces the rest of us to raise our game it can only be good for our clients and the market.