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Microsoft to Buy Rational and/or Borland? 522

oblivious writes "I got this in e-mail this evening: According to a Reuters report that crossed the wires late today, the speculation is that Microsoft will make bids to buy both Rational and Borland. Shares of both Rational and Borland are up on the news, and so far both IBM and Microsoft have no comment on this report." We recently ran a story about IBMs planned purchase of Rational. Chris didn't make clear in here - it's not that Microsoft might buy both, but that Borland might be a likely target, if a bid to buy Rational out from under IBM fails, which it is likely too. Rational and IBM have signed the substantive portion of the agreement already, so any sort of counter bid would have some fun legal consequences for all involved.
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Microsoft to Buy Rational and/or Borland?

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  • HOLY HELL! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gralem ( 45862 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:01AM (#4870762)
    Nothing would be worse than M$ buying borland. It would be the end of JBuilder--a fantastic java IDE. Not to mention delphi and KYLIX! This would be B*A*D.

    • I wouldn't be too worried about loosing JBuilder. After all, Eclipse [] is better, faster, and open-sourcier. Not to mention it doesn't use godawful Swing(r)(tm)(c)(pi).

      I am a Java programmer myself (laugh it up), but Swing just plain annoys me.

    • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      Why would it mean the end?

      Once they bought up Borland they're no longer competing, what would they have to gain by throwing away all that mindshare - thats what they're buying. Thats the only value Borland has to offer.
      • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by hermescom ( 624888 )
        Well, that would be interesting. As far as I remember, Micorosoft lost it's Java lisence back in 97, after Sun got pissed at them for adding Windows-specific functionality. So if microsoft buys Borland, will they not be blocked from developing any of Borland's java products (read: JBuilder)?

        Seems like that part of the company will be utterly useless to them unless their goal is to stamp out java IDEs. But we already mentioned Eclipse on this thread.

        P.S. IANAL
        P.P.S. Neither am i anal.

        • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:2, Interesting)

          by stratjakt ( 596332 )
          >> So if microsoft buys Borland, will they not be blocked from developing any of Borland's java products (read: JBuilder)?

          If they bought Borland, they'd be buying Borlands liscenses as well, I'd guess.

          I imagine Borland would continue to be Borland, and operate under MS as an umbrella corporation.

          I don't think the fact that MS has/doesnt have a liscense would affect Borland in an arrangement like this.

          I mean tech companies buy other companies for their technology, not just to knock em out of competition (though that's a nice side effect). Eg, bought 3DFX, and eventually incorporated 3DFX's patents and whatnot (stuff like their FSAA routines) into the nv30.

          But then I don't really know. Would the purchase price of Borland be less than they lose to them via competition every year?

          NOHIALSIRTMI (No one here is a lawyer so its redundant to mention it)
          • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:2, Informative)

            by hermescom ( 624888 )
            True, but in this particular case, Microsoft was specifically blocked by Sun from using Java, following a pretty lengthy trial process. The block was placed on them as a company. It's not like they didn't buy the licenses, but they actually had the licenses revoked.

      • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by yog ( 19073 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:44AM (#4871258) Homepage Journal
        Microsoft is trying to replace Java with C#, its own, "improved" version. They are not going to buy Borland for several billion dollars just to prop up a "legacy" language like Java. If they wanted to do that, why not just release new versions of the old Visual J++? This would cost them a few millions and to hell with Borland.

        No, Microsoft is doing this for one simple reason: to get rid of a Java powerhouse. Just as they did with Foxpro, which they bought and pretended to maintain for a few years while pushing their own products Access and Sql Server, they're going to shelve Borland and Togethersoft too. Why shouldn't they? They've got about $50 billion in cash, nothing to spend it on, and Java continues to annoy them. It's a logical move.
        • P.S. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by yog ( 19073 )
          It also gives MS a chance to hurt Linux, which Borland has been supporting in recent years with JDeveloper and Kylix.
        • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by z2000 ( 92591 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @02:35PM (#4872961)
          Um, two words: Visual J#

          They essentially did resurrect Visual J++ by morphing Java to work with the .Net common language infrastructure. Looks like Java, smells like Java - but it's 'I can't believe it's not Java'.

          Microsoft is afraid of losing their visual modeling partner. The bad part is that Borland's new modeling solution TogetherJ doesn't support the Microsoft platform. Rational's XDE does. If IBM gets Rational, Microsoft loses it's status with Rational as a first class platform, and Borland would be something of a consolation prize. I doubt that Microsoft would want to buy Borland because it would probably take less development resources to make Visio into a decent UML modeling tool than it would to make Together support their platform. Also, if I'm not mistaken TogetherJ is written in Java, a cardinal MS no-no.
    • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SerpentMage ( 13390 )
      This would be great....

      Because now finally people may get off their butt and think about buying other tools. People have become too complacent about the tools they buy. Not to say that JBuilder is bad. But Eclipse, SlickEdit are really good tools that do things in different ways.

      I am looking forward to this because it will open the playing field...
      • This would be great.... ... I am looking forward to this because it will open the playing field...
        Wait, market consolidation opens up the playing field how?
    • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:22AM (#4871034) Homepage Journal
      Nothing would be worse than M$ buying borland. It would be the end of JBuilder--a fantastic java IDE. Not to mention delphi and KYLIX! This would be B*A*D.

      I sure hope there's some sort of public comment allowed to the FTC on such a move, because this could, as you point out, clearly be viewed as quashing competition. As JBuilder is a excellent Java development tool, and we all know by now about how Microsoft wants to kill or cripple Java. Further, JBuilder is expanded and repackaged by Oracle, a chief DB rival of Microsoft. I'm sure if I spent the afternoon I could come up with many other reasons this is anti-competitive and in dire need of a letter stating so.

    • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:3, Informative)

      by ProxyUser ( 619588 )
      JBuilder has a cousin. Oracle's JDeveloper! Oracle licensed JBuilder code from Borland and started a separate branch in the late 1990s. It is a very good IDE. And yes, its free for "personal" use and it works on Linux.
      • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mannerism ( 188292 )
        And while we're on the topics of JDeveloper and Rational, it's worth noting that JDev now integrates class and activity UML diagramming tools. Also, the 9i developer suite includes an Oracle repository-based SCM tool. So, apparently, Oracle has decided to go their own way on the UML and SCM fronts (although, oddly enough, I recall that a couple of years ago some Oracle people I was working with were discussing rumours of Oracle buying Rational).

        I'll second the opinion that it's a good IDE. It's straight Java...I run it on Win2K, Linux, and Solaris. Get it here [] if you're curious.
    • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:27AM (#4871086) Journal
      I used to be one of Borland's biggest fans, back when Philippe Kahn ran the show. Since his resignation on November 24th, 1995, Borland products have not been, IMHO, all that great.

      Let them be bought out; let them discontinue all the competing products ... at this point, all it will do is drive people to learn more about open-source alternatives, anyway. And maybe Philippe will want to rejoin the fray. This could only be a good thing.

      Mind you, there may be anti-trust concerns w. M$ buying out Borland, since Borland is their biggest competitor in the computer languages market (Borland at one time had 2/3 of ALL the language market for the PC, with everyone else splitting the difference).

      Anyway, I stopped using Borland products after Delphi 3 (the newer ones didn't offer that much more, and splitting the line-up into so many different versions of the same product - Professional, Enterprise, Desktop, etc., just pissed me off). This was a far cry from the original Borland marketing philosophy: Great product, great price. I really miss the days of Turbo C / Borland C++

      • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sheldon ( 2322 )
        "This was a far cry from the original Borland marketing philosophy: Great product, great price. I really miss the days of Turbo C / Borland C++"

        The original Borland marketing philosophy was to sell Turbo Pascal for $39.95 when everybody else was selling compilers for $500 or more.

        I agree, they started getting into trouble when they decided they could sell Delphi or Java tools for $5k and abandoned their early philosophy of low-priced quality tools for everyone. Their new strategy seems to be "How much are people willing to pay to not use Microsoft?"
      • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:3, Informative)

        by uradu ( 10768 )
        > I stopped using Borland products after Delphi 3 (the newer ones didn't offer that much more...)

        You stopped at the wrong version. Many useful features were added in 4 and properly debugged in 5. If you use Professional, version 5 is your best bet. There are lots of IDE improvements (in particular navigation and code completion), plus forms are stored as text. I don't think 6 and 7 added much value to Professional, mainly lots of Enterprise and Web stuff.
    • Re:HOLY HELL! (Score:4, Informative)

      by radish ( 98371 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @12:39PM (#4871789) Homepage
      There are still people using JBuilder? Seriously you need to take a look at the new version of IntelliJ IDEA - I have yet to show it to anyone who hasn't become a dedicated convert within a couple of days. No it's not free, but at $400 for better than Jbuilder Enterprise functionality it's a damn bargain!
  • Strange (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TwP ( 149780 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:02AM (#4870773) Homepage
    My friend who works for Raional here in Boulder was told by the company on Friday (Dec 6) that they were being bought by IBM. How can Rational sell itself to both IBM and Micro$oft?
  • Monopoly? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dedtired ( 93552 )
    There is no way this ends up good, if MS makes the sale. But here's a question. At what point does MS own too much of the computing world? With MS buying Borland and Rational, does this signify the end developments for other OS's? If not this, then how much more does MS need to buy before they do own practically everything.
    • There is no way this ends up good, if MS makes the sale. But here's a question. At what point does MS own too much of the computing world? With MS buying Borland and Rational, does this signify the end developments for other OS's? If not this, then how much more does MS need to buy before they do own practically everything.

      Neither Borland nor Rational are OS vendors. Further, pretty much all of Borland's products only run on Windows anyway. So the impact on the wider industry is minimal.
    • Microsoft can't buy Forte or Eclipse. If they eliminate Borland's products, that will simply reduce the fragmentation of non-Microsoft development tools--not necessarily a bad thing.
  • This would bring about things that I don't even want to imagine.

    Do not rape my Borland! I can't live without their tools. Just thinking about how microsoft would bastardize their wonderful software makes me ill!

  • Schweet! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:04AM (#4870792)
    Excellent! Where can I pre order Visual Pascal?
  • Microsoft will make bids to buy both Rational and Borland

    If MS buys Borland they would become a Java Addict and Linux Software Producer (Kylix, JBuilder). I doubt this would happen so soon ;-)
  • by larien ( 5608 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:05AM (#4870802) Homepage Journal
    This would basically be MS buying two competitors. Rational Clearcase competes with Visual Sourcesafe and Borland's development products obviously compete with Visual Studio (as well as doing a fair bit with Java, which MS probably don't like).

    If this is true, they've obviously decided to really flip the bird to the courts...

    • by Paul Komarek ( 794 ) <> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:10AM (#4870876) Homepage
      I don't think they'd keep Visual Sourcesafe if they had access to Clearcase. I've met some anti-open-source-and-Free-software people (and regular people, too) that use cvs because Visual Sourcesafe is so bad.

      That said, I'm not real impressed by Clearcase either. But I've never heard of it being so bad that users preferred cvs.

      -Paul Komarek
    • If this is true, they've obviously decided to really flip the bird to the courts...
      Except the two companies are basically fucked. Seriously, Rational and Borland aren't exactly titans anymore.

      Hell, maybe MS's plan is to buy them and keep them funded and alive to prove to the courts they are interested in competition. Its just as likely.
      • Hell, maybe MS's plan is to buy them and keep them funded and alive to prove to the courts they are interested in competition. Its just as likely.

        No, it's not. Showing interest in competition means staying away
        and letting the products compete in the marketplace. The courts know this.

        Given the choice of interpreting this as:
        a) MS killing off some weaker competitors
        b) MS liking competition so much that they'll buy competitors and
        lose money to keep them afloat.

        I have a very hard time seeing anyone, viewing both options as "just as likely",
        especially not a court in an anti-trust case.

    • by staplin ( 78853 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:22AM (#4871035) Homepage Journal
      Plus, Borland just bought StarBase [], which produces the StarTeam [] SCM system, as seen in this press release []. (Wow, just look at the way the Borland logo is plastered all over the StarBase website!)

      So with Rational and Borland, they knock out 2 competitors in the SCM market!
    • by Christopher_G_Lewis ( 260977 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:32AM (#4871144) Homepage
      That's like saying Notepad competes with Word.

      ClearCase is a full, team oriented SCM. Very robust.

      Source Safe is fine for small development project (teams of 1-5, projects that have very few releases etc) but it doesn't scale well, has sh*tty back up capabilities (Can't backup if someone's logged in, can't force someone to logout...) and most of the cool functionality of a SCM (Labeling, branching, merging) are very poorly implimented.

      Not to say that I don't use it for my personal development projects (scripts, small C++ COM objects, VB projects), but you must understand it's limitations.
    • by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @01:16PM (#4872174) Homepage Journal
      Rational Clearcase competes with Visual Sourcesafe....

      Only to the extent that a bank competes with random strangers as a reasonable place to keep my money. SourceSafe may be viewed by many as a reasonable alternative for Clearcase, but that's a horrible mistake. SourceSafe is deeply flawed and inappropriate for any but the most trivial situations. I've written a paper on Visual SourceSafe's many flaws []. Spread the word! Friends don't let friends use SourceSafe!

  • To what ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by noselasd ( 594905 )
    So they buy borland ? Why ? The only thing I can see is that they'll put and end to kylix and jbuilder, trying to hurt 2 of their greatest enemies, linux and java.
  • by Hellkitten ( 574820 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:05AM (#4870807)

    MS buys Borland: Bye bye kylix

    MS buys Rational: Sue any open source that provides anything similar to rational products, or uses anything rational may have patented

  • I was on the Borland Developer Network [] page yesterday and found this article [] on Borland's upcoming .NET IDE.

    "Borland plans to offer an alternative to Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET development environment. Such a product could suit application developers that want to leverage .NET and the best applications from many vendors."

    The only other .NET IDE I know of today is SharpDevelop [], which feels sluggish on my P3 1.2GHz. Anyone know of others?
  • D'oh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by CorporatePunk ( 624429 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:09AM (#4870867) Homepage
    Next Headline : Microsoft buys C# and Visual Studio. In their attempt to own the world, Microsoft accidentally bought something they already own! Who watches for these kind of things?
  • not both companies (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jasn ( 106824 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:09AM (#4870870)
    If the submitter had read the story they would have seen that it talks about separate rumors about separate purchases. In particular the Borland rumor has an IBM Rational purchase as its reason for being.

    If there were any rumor about MS thinking about bidding for both Rational and Borland as part of the same universe (and bear in mind that even the separate rumors are just rumors), it would surely have been in the first paragraph of Reuters' story, instead of what is (Rational), which is the more important rumor of the two.

  • This is pure speculation on my part. But considering MS's stance on Linux, and supporting non-MS operating systems, would they kill cross-platform support?

    I don't know how many customers Rational has that are using the Windows version of their SW (eg: ClearCase & ClearQuest), versus the Linux & Unix versions. Is there enough income coming in to encourage MS to support other platforms?

    And as far as Borland is concerned, I would expect the Kylix to get knifed quickly since it's prob not a significant source of revenue.

    I could see how IBM buying Rational would be good for Linux & the community. But MS buying Rational seems like a way for MS to kill off a bunch of viable products on non-MS platforms.

  • Monopoly in action. (Score:3, Informative)

    by rasjani ( 97395 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:10AM (#4870885) Homepage
    Obviously, im not the only one to point this out but.. If MS where to buy Borland, that would make life of the Kylix in Linux quite unstable. While kylix is allready in its second phase and we havent seen massive amounts of free and/or proprietary software build with it, its still microsoft acting against certain market..

    Also, Borland products are competing with Visual Studio series, and allthou i havent used anything from Rational (nor from VisualStudio), i guess MS has data modelling tools just like Rational... Yey! Good for competition..

    • I suspect if Microsoft were to buy Borland, they would invest in Delphi for .Net (to bring in all the Delphi developers) and sell Kylix to the MKS people or something. They wouldn't just let it die because they know it's a lot of developers they can either gain or lose.

      All in all, I think it would be a good thing. Honestly.
  • IBM plans to buy Rational? IBM is just needs shareholder approval (from Rational) and the government to approve it.
  • Somebody must be playing rumors to have the stock go up or something.
    The truth is, Microsoft may be interested in acquiring Borland, but Borland is most probably not interested in being sold to Microsoft. Anyway, if it was even a remote possibility, Oracle at the very least would step in.
    • As the article points out, as a publicly traded company, Borland is required to entertain offers from all comers. Whether or not they want to sell to MS may be irrelevent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:11AM (#4870892)
    To our valued customers:

    We are delighted to tell you that IBM and Rational Software have announced a definitive agreement for IBM to purchase Rational. This is a very exciting time for both companies and builds on the extensive business relationship IBM and Rational have had for over 20 years. Most importantly, it will provide significant benefits to you.

    If you've been using Rational's solution to build business applications to automate your business, you will appreciate the combination of Rational's solution with IBM's e-business strategy. IBM helps customers integrate their business processes and software infrastructures to build an on-demand e-business. This requires the integration of software development, transaction management, data management, collaboration, and systems management and security. With Rational's demonstrated strength in software development, IBM will offer leading solutions in each of these categories and provide a complete solution for creating an on-demand e-business. This includes broad support for your application development efforts for a variety of environments, including J2EE, .NET, and others.

    If you've been using Rational's solution to build software for software products and systems, you'll enjoy the benefits of an improved solution through the combination of IBM and Rational technology. Rational's outstanding solution in this space will be amplified through synergies with IBM's pervasive computing strategy. This is an important market for IBM, and Rational is key to IBM's software strategy. Whether you're building a software product, a technical system, real-time software, or embedded software, IBM will be able to provide you with industry-leading products, services and support.

    Rational will become the fifth division in IBM Software Group (joining WebSphere, DB2, Lotus, and Tivoli) and retain its brand identity. The division will be led by Mike Devlin, Rational's current CEO.

    As with other business acquisitions of this nature, this one will require government regulatory approval and the approval of Rational's shareholders.

    IBM and Rational are impressive as separate entities. Together, with our complementary software strategies, people talents, and commitment to customer success, we can provide you with even more value.

    Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to expanding our relationship with you in the future.

    Best regards,

    Steve Mills
    Senior Vice President & Group Executive
    IBM Software Group

    Michael Devlin
    Rational Software
    • We all got that letter, but it doesnt mean Jack. Rational is a public company, and they have to accept bids from EVERYONE, no matter what sweet deal the CEO made with IBM.

      Microsoft can afford to spend whatever they need to move the shareholders to their side. IBM is going to lose this one.

    • Relevant Press Release [].

      IBM and Rational Software Sign Agreement for IBM to Acquire Rational
      December 6, 2002

      Armonk, N.Y., and Cupertino, Calif. -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Rational Software Corp. (NASDAQ:RATL) today announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire the equity of Rational at a price of approximately $2.1 billion in cash or $10.50 per share.

      So how come no one spotted this like six days ago?
  • Why is Rational considering a sale to another corporation, anyway? Do they just need a boost, or are they a sinking ship?
  • by hayriye ( 609198 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:13AM (#4870913)
    Turbo Pascal.NET
  • Wouldn't either of these deals be blocked by the authorities? Like when MS tried to boy Quicken.
  • by SmartGamer ( 631767 ) <> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:14AM (#4870939) Homepage
    Sheesh! This is getting way out of hand, and the government really needs to step in and do something.

    Micro$oft has been on a buying spree recently. Rareware was one of its more recent aquisitions, much to my horror. They had good games; now, I'll avoid them on general principle.

    M$ is trying to expand by assimilation. Don't have the tools/knowledge/brains/experience to corner a market? Just buy someone who does! If they don't sell, drive them out of business!

    This chain will only end with complete Microsoft control of the world- literally- or M$ gets broken up. The government has to step in and cause the second.

    Microsoft's "Buy Or Kill" strategy is, unfortunately, an effective one. Destroy all competition, by taking what they have, if possible; expand to new markets by buying the leader of the industry.

    End result? A Microsoft monopoly on almost every technological market.

  • Great! (Score:2, Funny)

    by lovebyte ( 81275 )
    Now nobody will say that MS does not innovate.

    All of Borland's and Rationale's innovations are belong to MS!
  • by TrekCycling ( 468080 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:16AM (#4870968) Homepage
    Microsoft today acquired the Free Software Foundation, acquiring the GPL and the last vestiges of competition.

    This news brought to you via your XBox home media center, by MSNBC.

    No, we're not a monopoly yet. Nothing to worry about. Go back to playing your game made by Rare.

    • by Alsee ( 515537 )
      Microsoft today acquired the Free Software Foundation, acquiring the GPL and the last vestiges of competition.

      I was about to say that it wouldn't do Microsoft any good because they still wouldn't really be able to use any GPL code, then I realized something...

      quite a bit of GPL code has an "or any future version of the GPL" clause. If Microsoft DID aquire FSF it could simply release a new version of the GPL and effectively remove all protection on all of that software.

  • Having been a Borland tool user since Borland was invented, I'm sure that Delphi could become the JBuilder of .net. This makes a lot of companies interested in buying Borland - for each their reasons: IBM, Sun, Microsoft. One thing is sure: Fuller's own future looks bright, no matter who he sells to.

  • Well, M$ already has Anders Hejlsberg - the
    chief architect/inventor of both Delphi and
    C#. I guess it was only a matter of time...

  • by javatips ( 66293 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:20AM (#4871006) Homepage
    Actually, this story [] is more accurate.

    First this is jusr rumors and speculations.

    Second, Borland will likely become an acquisition target for MS ONLY in the event that IBM complete the acquisition of Rational.

    If MS do acquire Borland, that will be funny (and painful at the same time). They would acquire a bunch of very popular Java products! And the UML tool (which is the thing they are the most interested in) is written in Java! What will they do with it... convert it to C#?
    • And the UML tool (which is the thing they are the most interested in) is written in Java! What will they do with it... convert it to C#?

      It's a safe bet...
    • Yes, they will. It will be very painful, as they will rewrite the UML tools in C# and repurpose all the other tools to be .Net tools instead of Java tools (J# Builder, etc) killing off one of the best sources of Java development tools. I think the Borland purchase would help MSFT much more in the fight against Java than a purchase of Rational would help in the fight against IBM.
    • They would acquire a bunch of very popular Java products! [Will they] convert it to C#?

      No matter... IntelliJ [] is eating Borland's lunch anyway. IntelliJ's java IDE is substantially better than JBuilder (I've used both for over a year), and it's only 1/3 the price.


  • by jheidebr ( 153491 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:21AM (#4871027)
    Microsoft in buying Borland aquires not only a UML modelling tool (Borland recently aquired TogetherSoft). But, they also purchase one of the better Java vendors out there. This move is both offensive and defensive. M$ gains a UML modelling environment while simultaneously killing off a significant segment of the Java tools industry.

    If Microsoft pursues Rational as well they end up with the 2 best UML tools in the industry and kill off IBM's strategic partner. The net effect is that Microsoft wins big.

    However, I can't believe that M$' shareholders would agree that both purchases are necessary. I expect that if Microsoft is unable to sway Rational over then we will see them make a serious bid for Borland. After all its the UML modelling software that MS wants, and if the IBM purchase of Rational goes through then MS has no modeller for their developers.

    Seeing as IBM is a large player in open source software (Apache/Eclipse/Linux) and Java I personally hope to see the Rational purchase succeed, however, M$ has a crap load of cash sitting on hand - if M$ wants to start a bidding war they certainly have the ability to.

    And so the consolidation in the industry continues.
    • "After all its the UML modelling software that MS wants, and if the IBM purchase of Rational goes through then MS has no modeller for their developers."

      MS is setting up Visio as their UML modelling tool. We've found it to be more stable than Rose, even if it has fewer features. I wouldn't worry about that.

      I was questioning why MS would want Borland at all, and then I see that Borland recently bought Starbase.

      Starbase makes a reasonably decent SCM called StarTeam, and a Requirements Management piece called CaliberRM. Those are two areas that Microsoft needs some help in.

      But I still don't see it, I think Microsoft's best interests are served with a partnership with Borland... so they remain as a competitor. Borland has committed to .NET tools, etc.
  • Wouldn't MS have to scrap/shelve JBuilder under its agreements/court-ordered restrictions in the Sun case?

    I'm sure if Borland was entertaining an MS offer, other companies would consider buying it knowing that it was up for sale. Oracle, Sun, and IBM are obvious choices, but there are others. I don't think Larry Ellison would mind a true merge of their Java tools, and what better way to stick it to MS than to outdo their .Net development offerings?
  • Roughly 2 months ago Borland bought StarBase, makers of StarTeam (a SCM system) which is a direct competitor to Rational's ClearCase as well as Microsoft's horrible SourceSafe.

    I've often wondered when MS was going to step it up and take over the SCM world, maybe this is the first volley?
  • M$ did it again (Score:2, Interesting)

    by picone ( 626995 )
    Well, now that Unix/Linux users have an easy an effective RAD with C++/Pascal support and with tons of features (Im talking about Kylix of course) M$ is trying to buy it.

    Is this not ilegal?
    I still remember the news "Netscape X Explorer" and the end of the history too.
    And now the fight is Delphi X VB, well it seams the M$ found a different way to solve its problmes.
  • Microsoft is going about this "taking over the world" thing all wrong. Why don't they just offer Linus 10 billion dollars for the rights to Linux?
  • by mmynsted ( 552933 )
    Now I am simply waiting to here a break-in announcement from Bill Gates that
    he has declared himself the world's emperor.

    Steve Ballmer at Internal M$ meeting:

    "The US Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have
    just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the government
    permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept

    Employee: "But that's impossible. How will the Emperor maintain
    control without the bureaucracy?"

    Ballmer: "The regional sales managers now have direct control over their
    territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of our software."
  • This Sux! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlgUSF ( 238240 )
    Compaq buying DEC was bad enough. Microsoft buying Borland is horrible. I remember in the early 90's it was like "Wow, Microsoft makes a compiler too? No thanks, I will stick to Borland", and now it's like "Wow, Borland is still in buisiness". What is left for all of the tech giants of the past like Cray, DEC (err Compaq, no HP), Borland. IBM's only saving grace is that they were quite diversified, and MSFT will never be able to topple them.
  • by mengel ( 13619 ) <mengel.users@sourceforge@net> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:44AM (#4871251) Homepage Journal
    ... Rational software only runs on Windows?

    This is the pattern that Microsoft and Intel both have repeatedly run through:

    • find a company whose software helps you develop software, or web pages, or what have you
    • buy that company
    • make future relaeases that only work on Windows
    as the software rot makes the old versions fail, users of that software are herded towards Windows.
  • by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @11:53AM (#4871342)
    There are free IDEs (Eclipse, Forte), and there are free UML tools (ArgoUML, probably others). If they aren't good enough yet, they will improve further. And the only good product Rational has ever had, Purify, has a better open source equivalent already.

    Microsoft's old strategy of killing competitors by buying them doesn't work with open source. Sorry, Bill.

    • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @05:21PM (#4874785)
      There are free IDEs (Eclipse, Forte), and there are free UML tools (ArgoUML, probably others)

      Indeed, but what makes Delphi so unique and special isn't so much the IDE (though the IDE is excellent), it's the compiler.

      Delphi is fast. I mean, really fast. No other compiler comes close. To put things in perspective, when Borland first added multiple error reporting to the compiler (ie one compile would report more than one error) I didn't understand why they did it. I hadn't seen javac at that point. I didn't understand, because it was actually faster for me to press Ctrl-f9 to trigger a recompile in order to move to the next error, than it was to move my hands from the keyboard to the mouse and back again.

      Their compiler is that fast. It can do a project with over 100,000 lines of code I have sitting here in less than 8 seconds. The resultant binaries are tight. When I tried my first C++ program, I was astonished at how long it took to compile as it read in all the headers etc. I was sure I must have done something wrong.

      Part of the reason it's so fast is just long history, Borland have had a lot of time to optimize it, but the other was the language design. Object Pascal is designed for fast compiles. For instance, it doesn't use headers, but each compiled unit (.dcu -> .o) included header information with it, meaning it's insanely fast to link them together. It also has excellent remake logic, if you only touched one file, only one file was recompiled. There is no [preprocessor, so the compiler can be single pass.

  • by Ingolfke ( 515826 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @12:09PM (#4871509) Journal
    From the article in respect to M$ rumored bid - "That pushed the stock up, indicating that investors are betting there could be some sort of bidding war for the company, the traders said."

    M$ doesn't care to own either of the companies. I belive they're driving up the cost of the Rational acquisition for IBM by floating rumors that they're goign to jump into the mix. The Boreland rumor adds some credibility to the rumor of a M$ bid for Rational because it looks like M$ has a backup plan. In reality they'll drive the price of Rational up, let IBM pay big bucks for it, and then announce or leak that Boreland just wasn't worth acquiring thereby devaluing the Boreland stock.

    And yes... I do believe that the Unmarked Black Helicopters run Palladium.
  • by CommandNotFound ( 571326 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @12:46PM (#4871872)
    Although I wish Borland would stay a scrappy independent forever, I always thought that Sun or Oracle would be a good parent for Borland.

    Actually, if you could get past the CEO egos, a combined Sun/Oracle/Borland could be an instant IBM and Microsoft "killer". They would have the hardware from desktop on up that could be supplemented with x86 hardware, the enterprise backend software (J2EE, Oracle, etc), some of the best development tools around (Delpi/Kylix for Linux/Solaris, JBuilder, CBuilder, etc), and an Office suite to boot.

    Their corporate cultures seem to be compatible, from what I know of them (not much, directly, but based on years of reading). I don't see anything compatible between Microsoft and Borland, however.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"