We're all used to hearing analysts make predictions about the tech industry and, most of the time, we read their forecasts, roll our eyes, and get on with our lives. But every now and then, an analyst makes a prediction that is so far removed from the realms of reality - so wide of the mark, so totally and completely improbable as to make no earthly sense - that we find ourselves struggling to believe that anyone would ever utter such gibberish.
Enter Keith Fitz-Gerald, an analyst from Money Map Press, who appeared on Fox Business to share his predictions for two of the giants of the industry, Microsoft and Apple. Fitz-Gerald believes that the conditions of the market will force Microsoft and Apple into closer co-operation and, eventually, a merger.
"Well, here's the thing: this is one of those unthinkable but absolutely possible deals," Fitz-Gerald began. "I think that Apple and Microsoft may not only have to work together for the next few years, but may even see a merger five to ten years from now, because they're going to have to take on the Google Android/Facebooks of the world."
Fox Business host Stuart Varney sounded as baffled as we expect you are as you read this. Audibly clearing his throat, Varney responded: "Er... I'm just trying to digest that one there..." to which Fitz-Gerald replied, "Exactly."
Varney, managing to suppress some mild laughter, challenged Fitz-Gerald by noting that regulators would be unlikely to approve such a merger even if it were ever to go ahead, but added: "It certainly is interesting, but that's pure speculation on your part at this stage, right?"
"Absolutely speculation at this stage," Fitz-Gerald said, "but you look at what's happening, you look at what Apple wants to accomplish with the mobile market, you look at the One Microsoft initiative, and you look at the cross-pollinization of devices. Content is king, security is king and you've got a user base between the millennials and the senior citizens who have to have easy-to-use functional stuff that is transparent between device [sic]."
We've watched the video and re-read that statement several times, and we still have no idea what Fitz-Gerald is on about, nor why he thinks that the likes of Facebook would be considered such a threat to both Apple and Microsoft that they would be pressed into joining forces against it.
Fitz-Gerald said that his belief that the two tech giants would need to cooperate and eventually merge was inspired by his purchase of a new TV over the weekend, which was pre-loaded with fifty social apps that were also available on multiple devices and platforms. If you can see the connection between that and a Microsoft-Apple merger, please let us know in the comments below.