In a shocking announcement this April 1st, 2013, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, announced that the company has reached a final agreement with the board of directors of Microsoft for Apple to buy the Redmond-based tech legend for an undisclosed amount of cash and Apple stock. This stunning announcement is being seen as the realization of Steve Jobs's one remaining unfulfilled goal and represents his last wishes being carried out by Cook and the Apple team.
Cook announced that once the transaction closes Apple will begin to wind down Windows. Windows 8 and its controversial Metro interface will be the last version of Windows ever! Some are sad to hear that piece of news as many people were waiting for the next version of Windows, where it was expected that Microsoft would finally get the mobile interface right. Alas, we won't get the chance to see if they ever do Metro right, it appears now.
In other plans for post-merger, it was revealed that Steve Ballmer will be kept on, but in a different role at the company. Apple will be launching a new cruise ship division to compete with Disney. The ships will be fitted with easy-to-use, iOS-based devices from phones to watches to TVs and even toilets. There will be no deviation from shipboard activities however, in keeping with the Apple way. The good news is Ballmer will serve as the Admiral of Apple Cruise Lines and be put out to sea permanently.
Apple's first order of business, Cook said, was getting a version of Microsoft Office out for the iPhone and iPad. Many think Microsoft left untold billions of dollars on the table by not doing this earlier. Cook was clear, though, that hell would freeze over before there is a Microsoft Office version for Android. He said Android was too insecure to support Office.
Speaking of Google, Cook said that the popular Apple TV commercials poking fun at PCs will now be redirected to compare Macs with Chrome books. With Microsoft now part of Apple, Google is now public enemy number one. Apple will be directing its legions of fanboys to bad mouth and ridicule Google and its "oh so hip" culture instead of poking fun at Microsoft. Cook said it was better this way. Making fun of Microsoft was just not cool anymore. I for one am glad to see an end to that kind of stuff.
Other bits of news from the announcement have Apple TV technology being incorporated into XBox. This will be the backbone of Apple's killer app for TVs. Surface tablets are being combined with Zune music players to be sold in Kmart, Walmart and Dollar Day stores until inventories are depleted. The Azure cloud is going to be closed down or at least renamed to something that makes sense and is easier to pronounce.
Industry reaction to the deal was mixed. Rumor has it Larry Ellison nearly came off of his yacht to attend the news conference in person. Of course, as pleased as he is, he was disappointed he did not have the chance to buy Microsoft. But he never did make Oracle bigger than Microsoft is. Former Sun CEO Scott McNally was ecstatic about the deal. Then he had to go back to work as Ellison's 3rd mate on the boat. The Google team was unsure how to react, or at least was not reacting publicly. Rumor has it they will be releasing a Google doodle to commemorate Microsoft shortly.
There is some speculation that several Asian firms will continue selling bootlegged Windows versions. In fact, they may undertake to continue development on Windows themselves. Thee are also rumors of several Chinese-based firms looking to license the Windows code from Apple. It remains to be seen if Apple will entertain those offers.
For the last word on the deal, Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and wealthy living legend, had this to say: "I always knew that Apple and Microsoft belonged to together. I thought it would be us who bought Steve's company one day, but go figure. I am sure somewhere Steve Jobs is smiling about this."
Happy April Fools Day!