Great news for the PHP community! IBM has decided to embrace PHP and help endorse and promote its use. IBM's endorsement further legitimizes PHP as a prime-time Web application development platform. Not only is IBM planning to make use of PHP technology but also help in furthering it by allocating R&D resources to enhance functionality including Web Services, enabling unified data handling by providing Service Data Objects to PHP, and more. IBM recognizes that being part of the PHP community means giving back in what counts, source code.
In the short term, Zend is helping IBM with providing a supported PHP distribution to their DB2 & Cloudscape installed base, where PHP adoption is still in its infancy.
I wonder how this will effect 2005's TIOBE programming language index. 2004 was a great year for PHP (and down year for Java), where PHP was chosen as the programming language of the year.