Because of Apache’s proficiency at allowing a single-server machine to host thousands of different virtual Web sites – music, data, text, pornography – it began to have “a commanding share of the Internet Service Provider market.” IBM was trying to sell its own proprietary Web server, called GO, but it gained only a tiny sliver of the market. Apache proved to be both a better technology and free. So IBM eventually decided that if it could not beat Apache, it should join Apache. You have to stop here and imagine this. The world’s biggest computer company decided that its engineers could not best the work of an ad hoc open-source collection of geeks, so they threw out their own technology and decided to go with the geeks!
(Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat)