In a parallel universe …

Microsoft gives away mainframes, threatens Sun

In a surprise move, Microsoft are providing mainframe computers to any interested organizations free of charge. Microsoft benefited from the efforts of the “open mainframe” movement, who created the design by reverse engineering IBM hardware and then submitting the specification to OASIS, for fast tracking to ISO.  OASIS was chosen over ECMA due to it’s success with the ODF format, which gained ISO approval first time, using OASIS’ stealth methodology.The newly-minted standard is said by an unnamed IBM staffer to be “a complete joke, this is like mainframe functionality 10 years ago.  That’s what you get when you design a specification around the internals of a product that was the result of a combination of bad reverse-engineering of a quality commercial product and some hobbyist meddling”

Microsoft and it’s various partners and pressure groups have managed to persuade many government institutions to consider mandating the new standard, much to IBM’s annoyance.

An IBM spokesman said “trying to make our cutting edge mainframes meet this specification will set our customers back years.  Our customers don’t care about ISO standards, all they care about is getting the job done with the best engineered products available.  We’ll have to slice features to the bone to conform to this.” In addition, it is expected that many of IBM’s customers are considering moving to the new free mainframes, complaining of many years of gouging from the IBM monopoly.Microsoft defended the specification against the claims of irrelevance and a meager feature set by saying that it was truly open and technically elegant. Some shareholders have questioned the move, but Microsoft COO, Kevin Turner responded;  “It’s all about economics, IBM and Sun started this by dumping free software into the market as a massive loss leader. They simply cross-subsidise it by really sticking it to their customers in their core businesses.  What we need to do is to attack their core business, and remove their foundation.  Giving away mainframes is just the first step, we also need to move in on Sun’s space by giving away servers too.  Just like IBM said about their Office strategy, we have no plans to monetize the mainframe and server space.”

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