When Shimano first announced their new Micro Spline driver body design only a select few manufacturers were granted the license to produce compatible hubs. The design has 23 rectangular splines that allows for the use of a multi-part cassette with a 10 tooth cog, which is what Shimano's new 12-speed cassettes use. Shimano never outlined the specifics required to obtain a license for the design, but several smaller aftermarket manufacturers publicly voiced their displeasure
about the limited number of licenses that were being doled out.
That changed recently, and Shimano posted the following on their Facebook page:
What does that mean? According to Nick Murdick, Shimano's MTB Product manager, it's now going to be much easier for companies to obtain the license necessary to produce Micro Spline compatible driver bodies. The selection criteria that was previously in place has gone away, and Shimano will talk with any interested manufacturer about getting a license.
At the moment, DT Swiss, Industry Nine, Newman, and Mavic all have Micro Spline licenses, but this announcement means we should be seeing even more hub options hitting the market from other companies in the near future.