Oracle, the 2 ton mutant gorilla of enterprise data software, once considered buying BlackBerry or Palm in order to take on Apple's iPhone and Google's Android in the smartphone space. No. Seriously. Unfortunately, Oracle CEO -- and former Apple board member and long-time Steve Jobs friend -- Larry Ellison decided against it. I say unfortunately because, while I can't imagine Oracle achieving anything inspired with either BlackBerry or Palm, it would have been incredibly interesting to watch them try. Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice interesting.
If the future really is mobile, right now only Apple and Google are positioned to own that future (though Android's open source nature means there could end up being hundreds of Android forks from the likes of Amazon, carriers, even Oracle itself).
BlackBerry was even later to the modern mobile party than Microsoft, and Microsoft was plenty late. HP and their brutally incompetent board of directors squandered what could have been a brilliant future for webOS.
But oh, the insanity that could ha