According to this press release, IBM is throwing its weight behind the PHP language and environment. I wasn't familiar with PHP, so I visited the Zend site and read about the latest 5.0 release. From what I can tell, PHP has evolved into a dynamically typed version of Java. Almost everything in the language is the same as Java, except that variables can point to any kind of object and type checking is done at runtime. For an ex-Smalltalker like me, this is actually pretty cool. If you know Java, you could probably learn PHP in a couple of hours. In addition, PHP now has really nice integration with XML via its SimpleXML technology. IBM could presumably evolve PHP much faster than Java, so it wouldn't surprise me if PHP became its favored language over the next few years. This also aligns well with one of my predictions for 2005.