If that's all that's going on. I wonder if Nikon and Zeiss are cooperating on a very high resolution FF Nikon, with Zeiss providing the wides? I read somewhere else that there are rumors of a 24mp FF Nikon for Fall 2006, but haven't been able to find anything that suggests it's more than hot air; and would Zeiss announce and begin trying to sell its lenses eight or nine months before a Nikon announcement?
I don't know whether they are cooperating, but I am guessing that Zeiss would probably not have made such a move now without some degree of confidence that Nikon is going FF in the not too distant future.
Nikon film cameras have been around for 30 years, and Zeiss could have produced lenses for the F mount for a long time, just like Sigma did. But these lenses would have yielded little advantage compared to Nikon's own line up, just like nobody was buying Zeiss glass for the film pro Canon bodies.
Zeiss is probably fully aware that Canon FF users have a problem with ultra-wide that Canon hasn't been able to fix until now, and they probably believe that Nikon will not be any better.
To me, it would be foolish to think that Nikon doesn't have the capability or the intend to go full frame, it is plain obvious that they will go for larger sensors at a certain point of time, the only question is when.
Personnally, I would prefer them to keep researching into improving APS sensors because they have many advantages for my landscape applications, but the market pressure in favour of FF is unfortunately most probably just too strong to ignore...
My guess is that Nikon will also release together with their full frame body a very high end 18-40 f2.8 or 16-40 f2.8 VR that will provide image uniformity accross the frame similar to what they are getting with the 12-24 on the D2x, but I could be wrong. Zeiss seemingly believes that I am wrong, or at least that a zoom lens will never match the quality of their primes.
One more comment, why is everbody assuming that the Zeiss ZF lenses will be manual focus?
If I were a Nikon top person, I would license AF-S and D technologies to Zeiss on a per lens sold basis at 2/3 the price of a Nikon lens! The perfect win-win deal, but this is wild speculation.