At 10:00am today Zend issued a press release stating its intention to sell a controlling majority of its stock to Microsoft (MSFT). Previous rumours about a bidding war between Oracle and Microsoft had been played down in the Zend camp with zero output regarding the bidding war. Oracle have long been interested in the Zend Enterprise and have been keen to secure the PHP technology for use in an enterprise level database layer ensuring its position at the top of the ladder.
Microsoft Italy CEO Al Porfoli who spear headed the deal, rumoured to be worth US$113,000,000.00, says Microsoft has had Zend and the PHP scripting language in mind for some time. "We believe in making the next wave of Web2 applications as open as we can. A new range of Visual PHP products has been in beta testing by Zend and was recently used to create applications such as the new Zend Framework. PHP Open Source developers are outraged at what they are calling a "sell out" by Zend as many have given their time freely in the development of the PHP language and the Zend engine. Developer Troy McKenzie is has taken this one step further and is filing a class action in a bid to salvage some value from the deal by what he is calling "free development for corporates". Microsoft have issued a statement thanking the developers and the PHP community at large for their efforts in bringing the language to a point where it is Enterprise ready. Poroli goes on to say " (microsoft) will put the hard work of the developers to good use. With a code base such as this, the new wave of Web2 applications is set to rolled out on all platforms".
A possible renaming of the language has been touted but no official response has confirmed this. Some have quoted "MSSE (Microsoft Scripting Engine) as a possibility. New License agreements are being drawn up and several of the Zend products will such as the Zend Framework, Zend Encoder and the Zend Studio look set to hit our stores soon in a new range of development software that will add to the extensive Microsoft Development suite of applications
When approached, Zend declined to comment on the deal siting a new release would be issued when all transactions were complete.