So one day, Scott McNealy, founder and chairman of Sun, read in his morning newspaper how the use of Java was rapidly diminishing, courtesy of something called 'The LAMP Stack'. Furiously, he called his accountant.
Scott: "I knew this Java thing was a bad idea in the first place! I see only one solution. We need to buy this Lamp!"
Accountant: "Euh, LAMP is not a company. It's an acronym. It's Linux , Apache, MySQL and PHP"
Scott: "Then buy me Linux!"
Accountant: "But we still have this Solaris thing.."
Scott: "Then buy me Apache!"
Accountant: "That's a foundation. Nothing to buy there."
Scott: "Then buy me MySQL!"
Accountant: "We don't do databases."
Scott: "It's a database?"
Accountant: "What rock have you been living under?"
Scott: "Sweet. I can own the Lamp AND piss off Oracle at the same time!" (waves fake plastic magic wand) "Make it so!"
And so it happened.
Ten days later, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was reading the CIO Magazine, and read about this interesting thing called PHP, that according to the author you could use to write "WHAT?!". "WHAT?!", obviously a highly advanced and evolved version of "Hello World", caught his attention. So he called Bill Gates.
Steve: "Hey, you heard about this PHP thing?"
Bill: "Pee Age Pee? You're not that old yet, are you?"
Steve: "What? No, wait, it's a programming language, apparently better than ASP.NET."
Bill: "Who cares if it's better. I mean; we made the worst operating systems ever and still rule. (Checked out Leopard yet? It is SO cool.)"
Steve: "I don't know Bill... remember that internet thing that we didn't know about years ago? Kind of nearly missed the boat there."
Bill: "Right. Didn't we solve that in the same way? Worst browser, highest market share, that sort of thing?"
Steve: "Yes we did, but then we also didn't know about this 'mp3' thing until it was too late."
Bill: "We did manage to make Zune the worst player, but somehow we're not market leader. Guess we got sloppy?"
Steve: "Maybe it's just different times. Maybe we should have a different strategy."
Bill: "Ok, so let's just buy PHP then."
Steve: "It's not a company. But Encarta says it's written by a Rasmus Lerdorf."
Bill: "So let's hire him."
Steve: "Tried that. Didn't want to join. Can't blame him, works at Yahoo."
Bill: "Then I guess we'll have to buy Yahoo."
So it happened.
Two of the most controversial announcements of this month, and both appear to be part of devious plots to take over the LAMP stack. What's next? My prediction: Red-Hat buys Zend; Oracle buys Red-Hat; Sun and IBM join forces to buy Oracle, Microsoft buys Sun, kills IBM and peace is restored in the galaxy.
P.S. Can you imagine Microsoft running sites like Flickr? These guys invented MS Paint!