This is a fantastic news for all people following those two great projects since the beginning. The two teams plan to merge and join their efforts in the same powerful product, that will take the best of the two worlds: the simplicity of PhpBB and the power of Simple Machines. The name is quite logical and really attractive: SimplePhpBB!
Obviously, the project won't be ready before one year (the 1.0 version is currently planned for April 1st, 2011), but during this time, the teams will not have much time to support the next PhpBB 3.0.8 and Simple Machines 2.0. Users should therefore use the latest versions of the both products.
[Edit]: The project has been unfortunately cancelled, due to some disagreements for choosing the name. Indeed, some developers were thinking that PhpMachinesBB was better, and finally leave the project. And yes, it was an April 1st's joke ;o)
We are really excited by this news!