Apple buys majority share of Microsoft

[Cupertino, CA, 4/1] Apple Computer announced today that it had purchased a majority share of the Microsoft Corporation by buying virtually all founder Bill Gate's remaining stock. Gates has continued to be the single largest stockholder, with approximately 56% of the outstanding shares of the company. The transaction, estimated to be worth $30 billion, still leaves Apple with a substantial cash reserve of at least $10 billion.

Gates, the increasingly reclusive founder of Microsoft, has not been actively involved in the management of the company for some years. He and his wife, Melinda Gates, have been spending much of their time on philanthropic work via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A spokesperson for the Foundation indicated that the Gates' had already indicated they planned to give most of the funds to the Foundation to help with the two keystone projects promoted by the Gates: malaria remediation in Africa and improvements in American libraries.

Gates himself has made no comment about the sale, but a short statement was released that said in part, "In recent years I have become increasingly embarrassed at the slow pace of innovation in Microsoft, and when I saw the iPad announcement back in January, I realized the company I founded had really fallen behind. I decided it was time to sell my shares and try to do some good with the money."

An Apple spokesperson said there would not be many immediate changes in the way Microsoft will be run, but did indicate that Steve "Monkey Boy" Ballmer might want to polish up his resume. Apple said the only thing the Cupertino firm intended to do right away was to eliminate Internet Explorer. Apparently, within weeks, IE users will be notified via the AutoUpdate software that a new Web browser is available, and when the update is run, Apple's Windows version of Safari will be downloaded and installed, and IE will be deleted. The Apple spokesperson said, "IE is and always has been nothing but a hack, and there are millions of Web designers whose lives have been significantly shortened, to say nothing of damage to their mental health, by having to try to make their Web page designs work with that piece of crap."

Apple also indicated that while Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint would be phased out in favor of Apple's word processing and presentation software, Apple would keep Excel for the time being. "We did some research, and we found most major U.S. corporations would collapse if Excel was phased out. You cannot believe how many bad Excel macros have been written by 27 year olds with brand new Wharton School MBAs. I mean, the spaghetti code we saw in Excel spreadsheets was downright frightening. I don't how those companies keep running."

When asked about the purchase, Apple said their primary interest was in what they called the "bitter clinger" market. "There are tens of millions of Microsoft customers still using Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. Ironically, using our virtualization software or third party virtualization software like VMware Fusion or Parallels, the 'bitter clinger' crowd can have a better experience running Windows on a Mac. I mean, Windows 98 kicks butt running in Parallels on a brand new 27" iMac."

On news of the announcement, Apple stock jumped $14 to a current high of $228, while a sell off of Microsoft stock has begun.

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