Seattle, Washington — Shawna Bogan, Amazon junior marketing associate on the Kindle team, revealed on Tuesday that she invented cloud computing on a lunch break in April 2008. The revelation sent shockwaves through an industry that has been gradually building a foundation on such market-speak as "hosted services," "Software as a Service," "cloudsourcing," and "cloudstorming," among other ridiculous nonsense. Indeed, the market has seen an explosion of new business ventures whose very existence hinges on a notion that is now revealed to be false.

"We were all just sitting around in the break room," Bogan said, "trying to figure out how to explain that all of Amazon's Kindle titles were stored on a PC under my desk. I suddenly realized that, since no one would actually see my PC, the files could be anywhere—even up in the sky."

As the Kindle library of books began to grow, so did the storage capacity of Bogan's PC. With the help of an Amazon Help desk temp, she quietly added storage space, and finally networked an old Compaq system for even more storage, with which to contain the expanding Kindle library.

"People must think all this stuff is stored securely on massive servers somewhere," Bogan said, peeking under her desk with a laugh. "I think it's time people knew the truth. I’m sure this is the same way all these new companies are doing it, too." She paused, considering. "I should probably put some antivirus on there."

Following Bogan's revelation, other prominent cloud companies admitted to buying into the hoax and propagating it with their own offerings. "We knew we could never afford to compete if we took the time and expense to actually construct real, massive data centers," said Beezil Shoshugani of RackSaaS. "And why bother when we could do it all with in-house hard drives? But we thought we were the only ones doing it that way. I'm not sure how I feel to learn that we hadn't really found a loophole after all."

When informed of this news, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer said, "I knew it! I knew it! The whole idea was stupid from the start!" Ballmer has been famously reported to say that Microsoft is "all in" on cloud computing. "First they get me dancing around in YouTube videos like a giant sweating monkey, and now this," Ballmer said. In related news, Ballmer's personal speech writer and PR team are rumored to have been fired.

Industry analyst Niles "Nimbo" Stratus, vice president of Superior Thin Research, predicted the revelation would have little to no effect on the market. "Every industry vertical we touch is resourced around enhancing the benefits of a robust and pliable revenue stream, ephemeral or otherwise. Whether ECM, ARP, PNZ, or ORC, they understand the need to subsume and strategize their productivity, as users continue to optimize and reify the trivially enable-able low-hanging fruit collaboratively, in real time. And really, the mandate is there to monetize and maximize the resulting output. Especially when v2 releases."

News that cloud computing has been proven to be fluffy and ephemeral didn't surprise some IT professionals. Clem Bundershoot, a Windows support technician from Ninety Six, South Carolina, wasn't shocked by the news. "I told my boss that all that talk about the cloud was just nonsense," Bundershoot said. "Cloud this, virtualization that, and all that other crap about people using those Apple toy computers and phones. I knew the liberal media was puffing it all up. Everyone knows that real IT is done with real hardware that you can see and touch. You can take your virtual this and cloud that and stick it where the sun don't shine."

Meanwhile, asked if she expected fallout from revealing the truth about cloud computing, Amazon's Bogan said, "Not really. I was surprised it went this far, to be honest, and I just felt it was time for the story to be told. I would get in real trouble if I ever told you what Amazon is doing with people's credit card numbers and other personal information. It's shocking. But I would never do that, of course."

Contributing reporters: Jason Bovberg, Sean Deuby, Jeff James, Caroline Marwitz, and B. K. Winstead