The Saga of King Ballmer
It is like an episode of the Tudors. A page out of medieval history.
Once upon a time in a far away land verdant and green their was a massive empire. King Ballmer took the throne when King Gates received a message from The Lord, decided to become a monk, and give his riches to the impoverished of the lands. There was great rejoicing.
King Gates wasn't the best king, brutal to the smaller kingdoms that surrounded him. But he had vision, he unified standards for good or worse through all the kingdoms, and his vision of an electronic printing press in everyone's hut changed and shrunk the world. Even if he didn't anticipate the electronic town cryer and the power of ye' ol' Alta Vista, and this company that selleth books from the Amazon.
King Ballmer was not a visionary. King Ballmer was about performance and expansion. Almost as soon as he took the throne tough times came upon the kingdom. The harvest that was so rich with the fear of Y2K was a distant memory, and the electronic town criers had grown too numerous, and were crying gibberish, and the Pets.com sock puppet hath been reduced to selling used ox carts to those who cannot afford.
Under King Ballmer there were innovations that came from the master wizards. They produced tablets that were as easy to use as the quill and parchment. They made small machines that connected to the electronic town criers, and allowed citizens to yell over great distances to each other. But alas the wizards spells were ill-prepared, and his knights failed to spread thy word, and the kingdom frowned.
Then King Ballmer became sick, and fearful for his kingdom. So he reached down into the dark corners of his Keep, and paged forth the Brumel. "The Brumel! My serfs and vassals are not delivering unto my kingdom! Lo, look upon the kingdoms of Apple, Google, Amazon, SalesForce, Oracle, they think they can storm my gates. But I am the Ballmer!!! Only I have the devine vision - and you must use your dark magic to make my serfs and vassals work harder!"
The Brumel smiled at her good fortune and said, "my sovereign, I have black magic that will make your minions do thy bidding. The halls will flow with the blood of the non-believers, and the true believers will only tell you 'yes my Lord' and will seek out and destroy those who don't follow your vision.
King Ballmer smiled, "tell me of this magic."
The Brumel said, "my Lord, make me a princess and give me domain of your serfs and vassals, and I will weave the charm of stack ranking."
And King Balmer gave the Brumel domain over all, and there was stack ranking. Every summer the harvest was tallied, and the serfs and vassals were decimated for failure, just like in the times of Rome. Those that knew the secret codes to please the king used it to their advantage, and grew strong, while raping the kingdom for their own benefit. Many great wizards of the white arts were burned at the stakes of stack rankings. Others fled in the night to Google, and Apple, and Oracle, and Amazon, and other friendlier kingdoms.
The Ballmer frowned. Although his minions had never worked harder, the magic they wove worked less and less. He battled the house of Google, and lost in the Search Wars. He battled the house of Apple, and lost in the most awful way in the devices, media distribution and long distance yelling machine wars.
The Ballmer needed a plan. Friar Gates checked in from time to time and was growing worried for his kingdom. The Vatican advised Friar Gates that Lord Ballmer should be deposed, and maybe Prince Sinofsky should take his rightful place. But Friar Gates had a good heart, and was endeared by his old friend King Ballmer.
So King Ballmer declared, "I must get someone to run my kingdom for me. My serfs and vassals quake in fear of The Brumel's black stack ranking magic, yet the harvest grows weaker, we are losing battles, and the peasants are revolting." So he found another weaver of black arts, Duke Turner from the land of Arkansas and the House of Walmart.
"I will weave my black magic for you oh Lord. I will apply the same magic we use at the house of Walmart at the House of Microsoft. Your serfs and vassals will not care, and you will count endless piles of gold."
King Ballmer smiled. He knew the Vatican was getting deeply concerned about the lack of tribute.
So the company spring fete, when the serfs and vassals feasted for a day and danced around the maypole was canceled. When the minions traveled to far away lands they were made to stay in the lowest levels of the ships, and shared rooms at the inns. Gifts to the serfs and vassals were cut, and their share of the harvest reduced. The coffers in the castle grew fatter.
The Ballmer was pleased.
Then the white magic Vista was released upon the land. Along with Windows Mobile for Phones 6.5. And the Zune, and the Bing, and the Kin, and the Red Ring of Death sent pestilence across the peasants.
The Vaticant grew angrier. The House of Google was at the gates, and Amazon launched their sailing fleet of AWS high in the clouds. The Apple had taken the white magic of tablets that the Ballmer was given, and made it shiny and new. The Zune had been defeated.
King Ballmer sat and sulked. "I weaved black magic to make them work harder. I weaved more black magic to make my piles of gold bigger even as the harvests are starting to shrink. The problem is not my serfs and vassals, it is my COURT!!! Captain of the Guards! Bring me the executioner and your most trusted knights!!! We must purge the house of Microsoft!"
One by one, the dukes, dutchesses, counts, lords, ladies, and wizards were sent to the tower.
Lord Raikes left to be a friar with Friar Gates.
First was Kevin Johnson, lord of the land of server and tools. Then Ray Ozzie, who Friar Gates hand picked to be head wizard of the white arts. Then Allard, Bach, Liddell, Muglia, Matthews, and then even Prince Sinofsky. Lord Elop fled, and one by one the heads rolled if any were a threat to King Ballmer.
"My new magic yelling machine will show them. My minions flogged by the Turner and decimated by the Brumel have made me the greatest weapons. Windows 8 and Windows Phone will rule them all!"
But the magic was useless. The Ballmer and his black magic had frightened the serfs and vassals to only follow his blind vision, as the king descended into madness.
"Fetch me Lord Elop from the tower," he cried to the Brumel!
"Lord Elop, I have a job for you. You are to leave this kingdom forever as my agent. You will go to the land of Fins and there they will make you king of the House of Nokia. They used to weave great white magic with their long distance yelling boxes. But the spells of Symbian are outdated, with MY Windows Phone magic in their finally crafted boxes, we will RULE THE WORLD ONCE AGAIN."
The Elop smiled. He could see through the fog of King Ballmer's mind. "Yes my Lord, I shall deliver unto you the House of Nokia, I will kill the non-believers in thy name, and Windows Phone shall rule the land."
But the Elop knew, this would never work, and the magic of Windows Phone would poison the House of Nokia. This would look bad to Friar Gates, who maybe would listen to the Vatican finally, and remove King Ballmer.
And so the news spread far and wide that Lord Elop had become King of Nokia, and with him he brought the magic of Windows Phone. The peasants revolted angrily, and the serfs and vassals of Nokia fled, fearful of the black magic of stack ranking, and the weak magic of Windows Phone. The Apple and the Google were storming the gates, and even though Symbian magic was weak, it was better than all the spell casters having to leave the battlefield to learn new arts.
King Ballmer's empire was crumbling around him. The House of Dell was on the brink, and had turned to the House of Google. The Houses of Hewlett and Packard openly revolted, also aligning with the House of Google on new magic tablets. The House of Apple had grown to the largest kingdom of all, with great glittering piles of gold.
Piles of magic tablets, Windows 8 printing press boxes that connect electronic town criers, and Windows Phones sat gathering dust. It was the magic weaved by Friar Gates that kept the kingdom from falling apart. King Ballmer turned on his allies, building his own magic tablets with minstrels who danced and snick-snacked the tablets together for the peasants - who were weary and confused, and angry that their magic printing presses were harder to use and connected poorly to the magical town criers.
So King Ballmer weaved a new plan, filled with madness. I must consolidate my power further. I will eliminate all who go by the title of Senior Vice President, and reduce my houses under my control to four, and I will hand pick those who shall lead.
The Vatican had enough. They summoned Friar Gates. "Great Friar Gates, former King of the verdant land of Microsoft! While you have been serving God the kingdom you built is crumbling around us. The bishops see no growth in gold for more fortnights than we can count. The best princes, princesses, lords and ladies have been executed or fled, and Lord Elop cannot weave the Magic of Nokia and the Magic of Microsoft together. Great King Gates, you must return to your kingdom and find a new king, as King Ballmer has killed all who could take the throne. We respect your mission to God, but he must go."
Friar Gates' heart was heavy. What else could he do? So the Vatican Bishops hatched a plan, "King Gates, let us summon the Brumel."
Princess Brumel stood before the Bishops, her black magic flowing. "Use your black magic before us Brumel, and forgive us thy Lord, cast your spell of stack ranking on King Ballmer and tell us what you see."
The Brumel hesitated, but then Gates spoke, "yes, cast the spell of stack ranking."
"Holy lords," she said in a shaking voice, "the spell of stack ranking is NEVER wrong, it says that King Ballmer should be with those who are decimated."
She feared that the bishops would ask her to weave the same magic on her, and because her black deeds had broken the House of Microsoft, she too would be decimated.
"Friar Gates, what say you," they asked. The Bishops holding great respect for the Friar.
"Let us summon King Ballmer, I will tell him to abdicate his throne, or face the royal executioner," the Gates said with a heavy heart. "I will seek a new king."
As he looked at his destroyed kingdom, his best princes, princesses, lords and ladies now his enemies. His serfs, vassals and wizards demoralized after the yearly forced executions, he did not know what to do.
"King Elop. The House of Nokia. Yes!!"
"King Elop and the House of Nokia could save us against the Apple and the Google," he thought to himself.
"Great Bishops," he said, "let us reach out to King Elop of the House of Nokia. He could be as good a king as any, and he could deliver the house of Nokia to our door to join in the battle, but fully under our control."
The Bishops liked this plan indeed.
So King Ballmer was summoned. When he walked into the Great Hall of the Board he was surprised to see the Brumel and the Royal Executioner, and Friar Gates sitting with the Bishops.
"Your holiness, why have you summoned me, I am purging the House of Microsoft again and the annual decimation is at hand."
"Sit down King Ballmer," Gates said quietly.
King Ballmer grew red faced and growled, "I have no time to entertain..." but was cut off.
"SIT DOWN, OR I WILL HAVE THE GUARDS FORCE YOU DOWN," Friar Gates yelled. At that moments the guards in the room moved closer.
King Ballmer sat hesitantly, his private guards locked from the Great Hall.
"Princess Brumel, read your findings."
Princess Brumel rolled out the scroll. "King Ballmer, you have been judged by the magic of stack ranking and have been given the ranking of five. All those found to have this stack ranking shall be executed in full accordance with your law. In full accordance with this finding, you may not appeal or plead your case. However Friar Gates remains fond of you. If you agree to abdicate the throne you will be permitted to live in exile until your final days. May God have mercy on your soul."
King Ballmer was stunned, and he looked into the eyes of Friar Gates, who gave him a knowing look, and a nod.
"I shall abdicate," declared King Ballmer sullenly, and he threw his crown across the room.
The next day the church bells rang and the vassals, serfs, wizards, knights, soldiers, and peasants rejoiced. Gold flowed once again, even as the annual executions happened.
"The King is banished from this land, long live the King!"