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Microsoft Invests in Inprise (aka Borland) 182

Stephen Legge writes " Inprise (formerly Borland, makers of Delphi, JBuilder, among other things) has established a strategic agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft has bought $25 million (10%) worth of Inprise preferred stock. Read the the press release here. " Only eight years ago, this would have been unthinkable-odd how much the world shifts. Of course, then again, WP5.1 was the de facto standard.
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Microsoft Invests in Inprise (aka Borland)

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  • Windows 2000 itself isn't 64 bit. Never was supposed to be right off the bat.

    I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about.

    My dear AC, I believe you've answered your own question. No, it isn't supposed to be "right off the bat". They were pushing for 64 bit in W2K, which is why none of the windows 95/98/NT applications would be compatible with it, as I recall. That changed when they switched codebases.

  • I think that the heart of this deal is really the heavy COM+/DNA component. MS is SOOOOO thrilled with themselves about these technologies, they need to see them shored up in as many major programming environments as possible, especially as more and more people are starting to figure out CORBA. I'm just glad to see that they didn't do a WFC licensing plan that will screw up JBuilder. Still, since I've been programming in MFC for the past couple of weeks (and OWL years ago), I can say that it will NOT be a particularly great addition to any programming suite. Come on MS, how much crap really NEEDS to start with the initials Afx? And why do you have both pVariable and lpVariable names when all pointers in Win32 are 32 bit pointers?
  • Here is what I think Microsoft is up to here:

    Attempting to consolidate the market by controlling their most credible development tools competitor.

    Attempting to control the market by being able to influence what platforms Borland develops for.

    Hedging their bets by investing in a competing technology as they have done with SCO and Apple, for example.

    Insuring that while effectively controlled, a competitor will not outright cease to exist in order to keep the feds off their case.

    Insuring that their R&D (which is mostly done by their competitors) doesn't dry up.
    This is just another example of business as usual for Microsoft.

  • It would only be surprising if when they won, the losers didn't act like the crybabies they are.

    So companies are just supposed to let someone cheat and not say anything? I don't think so.

    Let's be real here. Good business is competetive.

    Which is why Microsoft is bad. They eliminate competition through dirty tactics instead of legitimate competition.

    Government intervention is almost never good for business.

    Almost isn't always. I am not a big fan of government intervention, but in some cases when a market shows it is incapable of correcting itself (which generally only seems to result from gross abuses by the largest player(s)), then unfortunately, government intervention may be the only alternative.

    Crybaby companies who rely on government intervention because they're losers will always cry 'cheat' if they can.

    You might have a point if it was just one or two companies, but it is just about the entire computer industry against Microsoft this time, with the exception of the few companies that are completely in Microsoft's pocket. One or two companies might be believable as crybabies, but companies like IBM hardly can be categorized that way.

    Even if it was just a couple of companies complaining, it still wouldn't make it right for the biggest player (who doesn't need to cheat) to use such tactics. It only shows that Microsoft is morally and intellectually bankrupt, and that tends to taint anyone who defends them by association.

  • But before the agreement Netscape was the Mac's default browser. After the agreement it wasn't.
  • Do your REALLY believe that the competitition is ALL incompetent? I find that a bit of a stretch. Occam's razor would suggest a different answer.
  • Would you be willing to make that a binding committment?
  • Sure, Inprise (nee Borland), is important as a development tools company that competes with Microsoft, but the big news is that Inprise (nee Visigenic) is the most important CORBA vendor for all platforms.

    Visigenic came late to the CORBA party (Orbix was there much earlier) but in the last 3 years, Visigenic has been responsible for most of the new developments in CORBA. Visigenic basically wrote the specification for IIOP (the Internet Inter-Orb Protocol) which is the vendor-vendor interoperability specification for CORBA over TCP/IP. Visigenic also defined the Java bindings for CORBA, with everyone else playing catch up. Orbix might be a bigger company, but Visigenic has been redefining the CORBA marketplace for the last 3 years.

    Last year Microsoft cut a deal with Orbix whereby Orbix would integrate DCOM into their CORBA Orb; now Microsoft is buying a good-sized chunk of the most important CORBA vendor to come along in years.

    The Microsoft Way: If you can't beat them, buy them.

  • ever heard of the NDA?
    I wouldn't count on Linux or CORBA technologies coming from Imprise in the future unless there is some sign showing otherwise. This would have to come from action or from Imprise official statements.
    I see this as a last gasp of breath for Imprise. COM, COM-, CaptiveX and other Microsoft pseudo technology copies will be priority ONE over more open and interesting technologies like CORBA, Java, Linux, and others. These are just my opinion based on how Micros~1 has done business for the past 10 years or more. Tit for tat and Windows is the focus. "Anybody remember Windows?" is still Bill G's battle cry.
  • Look, since when has Micros~1 ever published a press release that told the REAL story? Look at the current DOJ vs MS articles and deposition documents. They were even attempting to find POSITIVE data about Netscape browser numbers FOR PRESS REASONS. This wasn't a Micros~1 product but they were going to use it for PRESS REASONS. Bull shirt, this 'deal' is to keep them doing Windows tools till Micros~1 can migrate Imprise developers to Micros~1 tools and to keep Imprise tools off of Linux. Imprise developers would jump to Linux in a heartbeat if the tools were there. Now they won't.
    The assimulation line is now forming at 100 Micros~1 Way room #42.
  • Sell. Soon.
  • Yep - Delphi is my dream-dev tool, I fear this mean we will see Delphi leaving and Visual Basic coming :-( .

    "All resistance is futile, you'll be bought"
  • With M$ expertise in this field, I would not wonder, if legacy 32-bit applications would not run anymore on their 64-bit O/S. But if I am not mistaken, Sun's UltraSparcs can still run old 32-bit apps even if switched into 64-bit mode. The Linux port to that platform contains also code to enable this kind of backwards compatibility.
  • >Anyway their record for multiplatform client
    >tools is rather spotty - anyone remember
    >Borland C++ for OS/2 - an orphaned product.

    That was really the beginning of the end. After AppBuilder (Novell?) failed in its crossplatform development promises, Borland had to backtrack. It was going to bring OWL to OS/2 and then UNIX via AppBuilder. IIRC. By supporting OS/2 it was now the target of Micros~1. MFC marketing increased, its price was kept low, then the brain drain, etc. Tough road with some damn good technology again a viscous competitor.
    Funny how a development tool vendor becomes a competitor when its products become crossplatform....Do you think Micros~1 feels Windows is THE most important product it has?
  • Will this make Inprise less inclined to port it's development tools to Linux? (Interbase is already ported). C++ Builder or Delphi for Linux would have been nice.
  • Well, I can't bind the company; i'm
    not in management.
    But I will bind myself to do anything in my
    power to prevent it.
  • Eight years ago, DOS was the dominant platform, I was writing in Borland Turbo Pascal, and Linux was just a gleam in Linus' eye.

    Now Windows is the dominant platform, I'm writing in SVGALIB/C, and Linux is huge! Borland may die, but their legacy will live on.

    P.S. My favorite Linux programmer's editor is RHIDE. The Turbo Vision interface is so comfortable after years of programming in Turbo Pascal. :)
  • .html

    Omnis Software announced their next generation 4GL cross platform RAD tool a month ago.

    I'm psyched to use Omnis Studio on Linux. In the meantime a trial version on Win32/Mac PPC is available for download.

    -just an Omnis developer
  • Yeah, I agree, so much for seeing Inprise tools ported to Linux... oh well.
  • Do all of you people seriously believe M$ is really that powerful, in that all they have to do is just start talking to execs and invest in stock and BOOM, that company is now gone and we are playing taps???? If you do, congradulations, you have no logical and rational thought.
    A: Can you name one MS competitor that survived a MS investment AS A COMPETITOR? I can't. (ANyway partial invetsments are not MS style)

    B: There are only three reasons for MS to invest in another company :

    the other company has bigger margins than MS (very unlikely) or expects bigger (monopoly-like) margins in the future

    the company has something that MS wants. (patents, technology, shipping product)

    the company poses a threat to MS's software monopoly.

    Inprise qualifies on no 2 and maybe on no 3.

    Anyway, as a customer of a company the only thing that is worse than a MS buy-in is a Computer Associates take-over (your product will be put on the back-burner , milked for all its worth and tossed aside)

  • I guess you can kiss OWL goodbye. Seems like MS wants to heavily push COM+. Not a bad move, wonder what the future of VisiBroker will be...
  • "JBuilder - competes with Visual J++"? Nope. VJ++ does not support Java 1.2.

    "C++ Builder - competes with Visual C++"? Sort of.

    "Delphi - competes with Visual Basic (Bill's first and favorite)"? Hardly. Pascal and Basic are not the same language.

    "Visibroker - competes with DCOM"? Nope. The technologies are not compatible.

    "Turbo Assembler - competes with MASM"? Possibly. Do Borland still make it? I thought it only shipped as part of C++ Builder.

    "DBase - competes with Access/ SQL Server"? Irrelevant. DBase is no longer a Borland product, and Paradox existed long before there was an Access.

    "Inprise just got bought out!"? No, they just got some more money. Why are you reading so much more into the press release than is actually there? Are you going to boycott schools which Microsoft have donated money to as well?
  • Try running on NT with 128M or more of memory. I've never found any development environment stable on Win95/98 -- it's a deployment platform, not a development platform. (Personally I just use it for videogames and refer to it as my Wintendo box.)

    I've found JBuilder, VAJava, and the Symantec products to be equally stable under NT. The issues for choosing between them have more to do with your work style:

    1. I'm not a Mac user, and don't care for the Symantec interface. Maybe there's no correlation between their Mac work and their interface, but I found their interface inconvenient. Other users with different habits will have the opposite opinion.

    2. VAJava has it's good points, but when you're trying to modify a base class it's really irritating and time consuming to have it flag errors all over your class hierarchy when you modify a method or member, knowing ahead of time that those issues will crop up. It's nice to have them tracked, but it would be far more efficient if you could control when those evaluations are done. Once you've got a few hundred derived classes, you can end up waiting several minutes for VAJava to "save" changes to a method while it updates it's dependancy/error trees. If you're working with stable base classes (purchased?), this same "problem" becomes the biggest benefit of VAJava.

    3. JBuilder walks a nice line between the information analysis of VAJava and traditional IDEs that just integrate "make" style tools with an editor, error highlighter, and source debugger.

    Personally I prefer JBuilder, but that's not to say the other environments are "bad". They've all worked comfortably with project in the 80-100K line range, provided that they have enough memory.

    I'm just hoping M$ doesn't leverage their investment to cancel the Linux port of JBuilder -- it's one of the few key products that force me to keep a WinNT box around (other than customer demands for WinXX development.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The bulk of this deal was about patent issues. Inprise only made a commitment to continue to support Windows tech. If anything, this shows that MS is worried about lack of Win00 adoption by developers. I don't see any way this could limit Borland from porting its tools. In fact, the $100mil could be used to fund any number of development efforts - which for all we know, may include a Linux development tool.

    just my $0.02

  • This is the next logical step for M$. Regardless of how we all feel about them, this is good strategy on their part. If they can't infiltrate the technology, they'll buy a significant/controlling stake in the other players.

    This way, if the industry doesn't buy into the Microsoft method, Microsoft buys into the industry method.

    I'm sure there are more 'strategic partnerships' like this on the horizon. Look for M$ to enter into such a partnership with a major PC vendor in the near future.
  • That might have been secondary. I think that getting Netscape Navigator OFF of the Mac and keeping Suns Java OFF of the Mac were the prime directive. The DOJ and QuickTime were secondary points on the shopping list. Look at what they were doing at that time.
  • This sucks.

    Not that Delphi for Linux was ever more than a pipe dream anyway. VCL was always too Windows-specific.

    I wonder what this means to Interbase for Linux? Will Microsoft kill that too?
  • It is interesting to see that Microsoft is acting upon what its executives have been claiming in court.

    First, Mr. Maritz claimed that he expected that cable owners would in the future have a big say on what software is distributed. Well, this opportunity for "competition" has been disappearing through the many billions of dollars that Microsoft has sunk into cable ownerships during the last two years.

    Second, Microsoft claimed to be under competitive pressure from platform independent java. So the use their dominant position in Windows programming tools to reduce the standard to a set of proprietary technologies. Guess what will happen to Inprise's JBuilder?

    Third, Microsoft claimed to be under competitive pressure from "middleware". Has anyone heard from ColdFusion's announced port of its server to Linux since they announced their "strategic alliance" with Microsoft? Does anyone expect to hear anything from Inprise's CORBA standard Visibroker, after Inprises "strategic alliance" with Microsoft that includes adoption of COM+?

    Microsoft is presently buying markets from customers (cable) and platform dependency from middleware vendors that could be or become platform agnostic (Allaire, Inprise). Thus they are consistently supporting and extending their Windows monopoly.

  • A) Yes!! Apple Computer.

    B) MS is trying to philantropic(Bill says he is
    very philantropic)
  • >Delphi for Linux - too tied to Win32 - not too >likely to happen. I'll eat a hat, tho, if they >prove me wrong, 'cos I'd LOVE to use it!!

    _Most_ of the basic widgets that Delphi use seem to be handled ok-ish in winelib (a free win32 clone for x86 *nix, part of the project).

    Even if Delphi just officially supported WineLib, that would be cool. This would be more of a bug-stomping exercise than real porting, but it would give pseudo-support for all *nix including *BSD, so it wouldn't be all bad.
  • In the early 90's Borland discovered MS was using their tech to develop Windows and Win apps. Needless to say they were pissed. This forced Borland to change their lic agreement to limit distribution of any products written with their compilers to 10,000 copies without getting further permission.

    MS has been raiding Borland for programming talend for years. example...The new bubbling and event management features in IE4 and later are direct ripoffs of Paradox for Windows.

    MS probably figured out that it is cheaper to invest in Borland than keep offering million dollar signing bonuses to their key employees, and get sued for it.(Borland brought legal action against MS for actively soliciting their employees)

    Borland is simply getting some of their own back (hence the additional $100 million.)

    As long as they don't turn Delphi into another Virtually Braindead, this is very good for Borland. It will make all the conservative IS managers in the Fortune 1000 much more comfortable using Borland superior tools.

    BTW, JBuilder code should already be able to run on Linux if you have a Java compatible VM. I think IBMs' works, but I'm not sure.

  • There is nothing about COM+ that ties it to windows. It was designed to be cross platform and languagte nuetral.
  • Your right. This whole arrangement will make IS managers a lot more comfortable using Borland tools. There was/is a fear that Borland is going out of business (this fear has been around since the late 80's). Maybe this will kill it once and for all.

    Things could be worse, imagine if CA invested in them.
  • I can promise you that that wn't happen.
  • I wrote Borland off the day they changed their name, anyway, for pretty much the same reasons I don't expect to hear anything more about "Tru64 Unix"...
  • Umm... didn't Microsoft "invest" in RealNetworks to the tune of $10 million, grab all the knowledge they could, and then screw them over?

    I have this sinking feeling. This seems like Bill Gates pissing on Philippe Kahns corpse.
  • Let's face it, M$ will lose to linux in the server market and possibly in the workstation, but forget it in the home market. That is where BeOS will come in. BeOS is very easy to use and install especially for the clueless newbies. What we need now is for a full port of gcc to Win32 and to get the BeOS port of egcs up to date. Anyone who has used BeOS on a supported system knows just how fast it would rip windows's head off if the hardware support and # of software are equal. Can you see a true clueless newbie (the other 95% of the population) trying to
    1. recompile something, even a text editor
    2. configuring lilo
    3. messing around with config files and shell scripts
    I can't.
  • BG said that the only man he hated (as of sometime before 1993) was Philipp Kann (spell is wrong), founder of Borland. While Philipp departed long time ago to head still unknown Starfish, Bill must have had few nice feeling buying out his old rival. Although he didn't buy 51% (yet), it still significant. What is 100mln for him anyway? I bet MS paid with it's stock (not cash).

    It is funny to see a bit of history back, Borland died anyway long time ago. It's Inprise *yucks* now.

    AtW, []
  • we got our 12Ks in may. guess you either have to work for the government (they were number one on the list to get shipment of the new cpus) or have a persuasive sales person...
  • Microsoft for all intents and purposes now 'owns' Borland/Inprise - whatever you want to call them.

    Nonsense. They own 10% in shares. Did you see any announcement of MS being on the board of directors ? I didn't. There is another investor that has more than 6% of the company. 10% is not owning the company and perhaps in future they will sell the shares. Let's stick to the facts. And the "short" term cash is significant, Inprise basically doubled the amount of cash. This is very good news, it takes money to pay salaries to develop Linux products :)
  • > Like Apple, I think that Inprise can bounce back

    Yeah, like Apple, in whom Microsoft is a 10% shareholder.

    Funny ain't it, M$ can only run their monopoly successfully if they maintain a veneer of a free market by financially supporting the competition.

    Regards, Ralph.
  • 1. I'm not a Mac user, and don't care for the Symantec interface. Maybe there's no correlation between their Mac work and their interface, but I found their interface inconvenient. Other users with different habits will have the opposite opinion.

    Definitely not related. :-) I'm a Mac user and I like JBuilder the best of the Windows Java IDEs (except for the editor...). Symantec's interface is just not very productively arranged.

    Cafe crashes a lot more than the other two you mention, for me. It also doesn't deal well with large projects, even on a 256MB 450MHz PII with plenty of disk space.

    VisualAge requires I import a lot of the external classes I use, which bloats the repository; the GUI designer creates literally hundreds of classes for a reasonably complex layout, making it virtually unusable; and it also has zero integration with external version control.

    JBuilder's code browser is nice, visual designer the best of a bad bunch, and it's pretty fast if you ignore the memory usage.

    CodeWarrior's editor is pretty decent and the class browser, diff tool, and build support rock, but its debugger isn't anywhere as nice as JBuilder's, and it has no visual interface designer. I'll be interested to see the Java RAD stuff and improved debugger in Pro5. So for now I write mostly in CodeWarrior, except if I'm doing a lot of AWT/Swing stuff in which case I use JBuilder, and debug in JBuilder. Not the best... sigh.

  • I really wish it were cheaper, but Apple's Interface Builder for OS X or WebObjects/NT is probably the most powerful Java Swing visual designer out there... I used this back in the Rhapsody DR1 days, and I couldn't believe how much flexibility you could have without even writing code - all you need to write is the business logic or complex model interactions.

    VisualAge's editor is probably closest in the "wiring" concept to IB, but as you say, Visualage's code generation leaves something to be desired. (IMHO, though, it is better than Symantec's code gen). On the other hand, VisualAge is definitely a server-side developer's dream (again imho)...

  • There is a big difference between competition and restricting competition. Capitolism is about a FREE marketplace. Current evidence shows that Microsoft doesn't compete they restrict competition and so part of business is to call in lawyers to stop illegal activities and reestablish the FREE market. Calling ones competitor into court IS a business practice.

    I suggest you go to and buy a copy of Enterpreneur.
  • They most likely would have split the company in two pieces, one dev tools/technology and the other services. This was planned and is now on hold. This would have allowed someone to buy the dev tools division as it was rumored Sun was looking at it along with Oracle. A far better solution then Micros~1 control and the perpetuation of Micros~1 proprietary operating systems and services. IMO
  • You're thinking about 32-bit vs 16-bit addressing and the Windows APIs associated with them. Windows NT/2000 uses 32-bit addressing and has the "Windows on Windows" system for compatibility with 16-bit Windows programs. Windows 95/98 uses a mixture and supports both 32-bit and 16-bit Windows programs with the same code, using "thunks" to bridge between code using different addressing modes.

    What "Signal 11" is talking about is the 64-bit extensions for Windows (aka the Win64 API) on Alpha and Merced, which are likely to be included in a sort of Windows 2000.5.

  • I'd like to think that Borland, the company who defined the IDE on the PC would be worth a little more than 25 mil.
  • There is development under way to provide Delphi-like IDE's to be used with Free Pascal [], a great Pascal compiler for Linux x86, Win32, DOS, Amiga and OS/2 that supports Delphi 2.0 features, is TP 7.0 compatible and has very responsive developers. Everything under GPL...

    See the IDE homepages of Megido [] and Lazarus [].
  • Try the Magic of Linux - A GREAT Development Tool 07-1.shtml
  • I think rumors of Microsoft's assimilation ability is greatly exagerated.


  • 2. JBuilder, etc. already outsourced to Oracle (renamed to JDeveloper)

    Not really. JBuilder has not been outsourced at all. JBuilder is developed 100% at Inprise/Borland, Oracle had a licence for it and they renamed it in part of their tools but there's no JBuilder developement in Oracle except the extensions that they have made for integrating their database.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't think that Inprise/Borland has the resources to port Delphi/C++Builder to Linux. They might try to make something run with Wine.

    a Delphi R&D Engineer, '97-'99
  • Since a few people out there think that Windows 2000 will be 64 bit, I've searched, and found these links. NT4 is 64-bit.. mostly. win98 is not. Hopefully this will clear up the confusion....

    Next Consumer Windows to be 98 Derivative [] Feb, 1999
    NT5 officially 'Windows 2000' [] Oct, 1998

  • Yes, I read the release differently.
    What the release doesn't say is more important than what it does say.

    Inprise has just gotten a HUGE cash infustion from M$. It would be very foolish of Inprise to do something against the best interests of a 10% stakeholder who has also just paid 100mil to settle patent and legal issues.

    Inprise will shift focus to pursuits that more immediately benefit it's benefactor.

    Even though this was not STATED in the press release, it's implicit in the nature of the arrangement. I give you money therefore you have to be nice to me - it's as old as time.

    What the press release DID say what that any speculation about Inprise performing well in the future were just that - speculatory. This might mean that M$ just might hamstring Inprise to make it less of a competitor.

    The deal is a payoff. "Here's 5 bucks kid, don't bother me."
  • It's practically a daily occurrence that someone who owns a *potentially* lucrative business "sells out" - ie, sells the entire business to (perhaps) the competition - the owner then retires a (possibly multi) millionaire at 30, set for life ... he/she doesn't care if it means no competition in that arena. The buyer is happy because there is less competition and they've acquired assets.

    Perhaps this is Inprise gearing up for a potential sale, rather than go under. But then again I'm a programmer, not an economist, so perhaps I'm full of BS. But I don't see that Inprise would've done this if their numbers hadn't shown that they were heading for trouble with their current strategy. Perhaps they've just decided to back out of the IDE market, much like IBM backed out of the OS market. Delphi will still exist, officially, but no roadmap.

    I see this "partnership" as a bad thing. I see it as the end of real competition in development platforms on Windows. I know MFC well enough to know that it's a fscking hideously godawful "standard", that I wouldn't want my worst enemy to have to program with. MS Visual C++, however, happens to be a great product - but without decent competition it WILL stagnate, and prices WILL go up.

    On the bright side, stagnation in development environments on Windows can only make developers more keen to check out Linux.
  • See the Seattle Times article [] Titled "Ex-rival Imprise gets big Microsoft investment". They bring up Sun Microsystems and Java along with other things. Good reading. IMO

  • This announcement is not about Inprise "dealing" with MS. They got some money as payment for usage of patents. It's acompensation. The 10% in shares, please note that it's not enough for doing anything, is pretty common preactice in this kind of settlements. Compare this with $150 million of the Apple settelement. Is Apple being controlled by MS ? I don't think so. Are they dead ? Absolutely no, in fact Apple is enjoining the best period in a long time.

    Relax, JBuilder for Linux is coming soon.
  • Excuse me but how is that cashing $125 million makes somebody "byte the dust". Totally misinterpreted. Read the article, it's Microsft paying Inprise not the other way around :)
  • I notice that the agreements listed in the press release don't include dumping Visibroker. Last time M$ took an interest in a CORBA vendor (ICL) they divested of their ORB pretty damn quick!

    DAIS is now owned by Peerlogic [], and I wonder how long until Visigenic gets to float free of Inprise (minus is its [OJ]DBC products of course).
  • Visigenic basically wrote the specification for IIOP (the Internet Inter-Orb Protocol) which is the vendor-vendor interoperability specification for CORBA over TCP/IP

    Nope. They weren't even there, though Dave Curtis of Expersoft, who was, joined Inprise a year or so ago. They did contribute to the Java mapping, as did IBM and Iona.

  • I too am a Delphi developer. Rumor has it that an alpha version of Delphi is being run in Linux. Don't hold your breath though. They dropped their promise to have Delphi generate Java byte code.
  • They were found guilty back in 1994 and the Justice assigned to the case thought that the Concent Decree was too weak and provided no remedies for damage done. After months of fighting this he( Justice Sporken(sp?)) was pulled off the case and the case was given to another Justice with orders to sign it.
    You are nuts for thinking that Micros~1 does not have this power. The road is littered with innovative techologies and their companies because of Micros~1 power/influence. They, in essence, forced Intel to shutdown its Java Media work/lab, force HP in 1995 to remove OS/2 from 50% of its PCs at a Comdex show and to top it off, put Netscape Communications out of business.
    No power huh?
  • Er yes, the -latest- MFC to be included. MFC is already shipped with C++ Builder 4.
  • This is MS's attempt trying to replace CORBA with COM/COM+/DCOM/YourCOM/MyCOM/EveryoneHasaCOMCOM

    No, it's not. This is MS paying, better late than never, for using Inprise patented technology. The 10% buy of shares is common practice in this kind of settlements. Look at the Apple case, MS bought $150 Million in shares. In this case they pay $100 million in cash and $25 million in shares. I know that there is a lot of emotiional stress in this kind of things but this is actually excellent news for Inprise given that they have now a vast amount of cash for the Windows and Linux projects.

  • Isn't it strange that MS is paying Imprise $100 million for some unheard of patent and licensing concerns? Wouldn't it be natural for a company like Imprise to PAY Micros~1 for using its 'technologies'? This sounds like Micros~1 is buying its way in here, just like they are buying Windows CE into the cable/settop market. There is no market/consumer/developer making the choice here. How can this be legal?

    When they lose the current DOJ vs MS case will they be forced to divest in all these things they used the illegal profits on?
  • R10000 and R12000 are 64-bit, too. the R12000 outperforms the fastest available UltraSparc by a wide margin. the R14000 will be available next year.
  • Why ? Please read the announcement. MS agreed to give Inprise $100 million as a settlement for patent issues and buy $25 million in shares.
    The article also underlines that Inprise will have access to the Windows technology, there is no mention of MS controlling or obtaining anything from Inprise.
    This is not going to change Inprise except that is giving them more money and resources to keep working on their projects. Last week they showed Linux versions of JBuilder and C++ compiler at the shareholder meeting. Should I say more ? I'm actually suprised that that news was all over the Net except on /.

  • As many people have pointed out, Delphi is very tied to Windows, so it would be difficult to port Delphi to Linux.

    While this is true, it is missing the point. I think trying to make a direct port of Delphi to Linux would be a mistake, but the fact is Delphi is NOT just the VCL. The VCL is what is tied to Windows, not the IDE.

    P.S. Tag, you're it.

    A Borland-made RAD tool for X would not necessarily be named Delphi. It would be cool to have a RAD tool that let you develop with whatever libraries, components, toolkits, widgets, you wanted. I have seen soooo many apps for X that were great at what they were designed for but were buggy and very ugly UIs. A Delphi-quality tool would let the developers focus on the guts. The big decision would really be whether to go the Delphi way and have a language custom-built for that type of environment or to go with C++ which looks UGLY when used in a RAD environment. Though I love Object Pascal, C++ seems more reasonable to me since Linux developers love open standards and Object Pascal is completely controlled by Borland.
    "I got it running, grabbed a rocket launcher, and fired down a hallway." --John Carmack
  • Interesting how you post as an Anonymous Coward yet if give dates of your employment. Gee, how hard would it be to track down everyone who was hired for Delphi R&D in 97?
    "I got it running, grabbed a rocket launcher, and fired down a hallway." --John Carmack
  • JBuilder2, and it's new 3.0 version, are the slickest Java development environments I've seen for the PC.

    The Solaris JBuilder is supposed to be pure Java itself, and therefore easily portable to other machines and OSes (read Linux)..

    Well, it was a nice idea. I guess so thought Microsoft. So long Borland - it's been a pleasure.
  • --clatter, crunch, bang --

    Don't worry, that's just the sound of my jaw bouncing off the floor... I would have bet and lost good money that this kind of a thing would NEVER happen.

    I used Borland tools for years, and always found them superior to the M$ tools (with the possible exception of Dbase V versus Access 97). I was lucky enough to NOT be stuck in MFC land, although OWL (the Borland C++ Object Window's Library) wasn't much more readable. Apparently (with the demise of Rogue Wave's zApp library, Symantec, and even Sybase Power++ defaulting to the MFC, and now Borland) Microsoft has really gained a near monopoly for Windows- oriented, commercially available C++ development platforms. Not good news, in my book.

    Glad to see that M$ is also having to ante up for all of their patent infringements to Borland over the years -- $100 million more than the $25 million stock price.

    But I do hate to see M$ win. Makes you kinda glad that MetroWerks is porting to Linux, and that Cygnus is gaining a foothold in WinXX land, doesn't it?

  • Borland always made better products it didn't help them then, MS has never been afraid of better products they have better marketing.
  • That's how I read it also ;-)
  • I am a Delphi developer and keep an eye on the discussions in the Inprise (Borland) newsgroups. Inprise technical employees are saying that this will not impead their development of Linux development tools. They have Interbase for Linux and are working on a JBuilder for Linux along with a few more Linux projects. I don't think that M$ will be forcing anyone at Inprise as long as the DOJ has them under the microscope.
  • Here's my read on it. Only a feeling, zero fact here, folks.

    Microsoft is having a hell of a time getting their 64-bit version of Windows to work. Originally, this was called W2K, and would be based on the NT codebase. That didn't work, but I still think they're trying. Simply put, their current offerings suck, and they know it. W2K was supposed to address "system instability" problems. I think they've arrived at the conclusion that their code/compilers can't cut it, and now they're going for outside help. It's a huge undertaking. I don't think Microsoft, even being the world's biggest software outfit, can handle it.

    They need Borland's expertise to get 64-bit Windows off the ground.

  • a stockholder of Inprise(Borland) I hate to say it...but I AM F**KING THRILLED... Inprise was going down in a major way. They still make good tools, but they are a mere shell of what they used to be.

    The stock is up 26% already can't believe that I'm alinged with the enemy...I knew sombody would step in but I always kinda thought it would be IBM...or maybe Oracle...not the evil empire MS...The timing was right...sounds like a good deal for both sides.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a shower...I feel sorta dirty all of a sudden...:)
  • Borland has made some excellent development tools in that past. This is definitely a smart move on Microsoft's part.

    On the other hand, I don't think this will benefit Inprise (Borland) much more than the fact that they are getting $125 big ones out of it.

    By the way, I thought that C++ Builder 3 already had MFC included with it. I realy hope that they don't scrap VCL for MFC. That would be a huge step backwards.

    I guess I'll have to wait until hell freezes over before I see the C++ builder GUI for Linux now.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Inprise already announced that JBuilder 3 will be ported to Solaris and Linux (the Linux part being released sometime late 99). This announcement has no effect on their plans to support JBuilder3 on Solaris and Linux.

    If you read the release differently - please explain how you feel this deal will cause Inprise to stop supporting other platforms.
  • Yup. It's called good business tactics.

    Good=monopolistic? Monopolistic bordering on illegal?

    That's why they're #1 in the world.

    It would only be surprising if they cheated and didn't win, at least in the short term.

  • Yes, this time it's Microsoft who pay, but I think software patents are even worse than Microsoft.
  • Come on. Let's look at the products.

    JBuilder - competes with Visual J++
    C++ Builder - competes with Visual C++
    Delphi - competes with Visual Basic (Bill's first and favorite)
    Visibroker - competes with DCOM
    Turbo Assembler - competes with MASM
    DBase - competes with Access/ SQL Server

    Inprise just got bought out!

    Thank god (RMS?) for GNU. M$ can't buy them out. From what I've seen, the gnu compiler under windows should be up to speed (or nearly so) with other platforms by next release. See and
  • Microsoft also paid Inprise $100 million for the rights to use Inprise-patented technology in Microsoft products

    yep now you have 'm$' with it's foot in the door for cross platform tools (read linux). guess those intellectual-assets will be sucked dry by 'm$' and 'm$-borgified' (read re-engineered and stuffed up).

    borland was a good alternative once and they still make nice tools but..there goes the hood!

    try freebuilder [] instead :)
  • Actually, Kahn's Starfish Software was bought last year by Motorola who is using the technology to sync their StarTAC-form factor PDA with PCs. Details on that are at
  • Umm... didn't Microsoft "invest" in RealNetworks to the tune of $10 million, grab all the knowledge they could, and then screw them over?

    Actually, Realnetworks is led by a former Microsoft executive. What happened is that Microsoft invested in Realnetworks and in return was allowed to licence the Realplayer 4.0 technology.

    One week later Realplayer 5.0 was released and Microsoft was screwed. Realplayer 4.0 was only out for a couple of weeks. Realnetworks got a lot of money while maintaining control of their technology. Microsoft was forced to release their mediaplayer without support for the newest streaming technology.
  • That might have been secondary. I think that getting Netscape Navigator OFF of the Mac and keeping Suns Java OFF of the Mac were the prime directive. The DOJ and QuickTime were secondary points on the shopping list. Look at what they were doing at that time.

    Except that Apple still includes Netscape on the Mac OS CDs and MRJ (Mac Java) supports Sun's standards, but not MS' (apparently, the MS team didn't communicate with the MRJ team during the releases of MRJ 2.0 and 2.1. 2.2 might have some support for extensions to the security model which are MS-only, but that's the only sop to MS-Java.).

    MS invested in Apple because Apple caught MS stealing its patents. Apple threatened to sue, MS threatened to announce that they were cancelling all Mac development, and the two companies negotiated. Quicktime should figure in somewhere in this story, but I'm just giving a high-level summation.


  • Notice how the things that Borland must do are outlined specifically? Notice how the things that Microsoft must do are left intentionally ambiguous?

    Also, I got tired of Microsoft development environments and went to Delphi. I loved it. Now, it looks like even that wont work anymore.

    Thank God for Linux.
  • today announced the completion of a set of strategic technology and licensing agreements that will be the foundation for a long-term alliance between the two companies.

    Translation: Microsoft just bought control over Inprise without actually owning it.

    Key components of the arrangement include Inprise's commitment to do the following:

    Translation: This how Microsoft plans to remove the competitive edge from Borland C++:

    Microsoft also paid Inprise $100 million for the rights to use Inprise-patented technology in Microsoft products and to settle a number of long-standing patent and technology licensing issues.

    Translation: Yeah so we ripped you off and stole your top employees. Water under the bridge. Here's some money. Now tell your lawyers to take a hike.

    "Microsoft is pleased to enter into this alliance with Inprise", said Paul Maritz,

    Kind of creepy how a huge corporation is described as feeling "pleased" by this arrangement. "Microsoft is pleased by your obedience. There will no swarms of locusts devouring your crops this year. All hail Mircosoft!"

    About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software...

    ....oh please. We all know who the hell Microsoft is!!!

    ...and lastly note the lengthy disclaimer at the foot of the page makes no promises about "Inprise's future financial performance" ...and if history is any indication we know where they're heading.

  • by SpaFF ( 18764 )
    I'm sure the justice department is gonna love this :P
  • I would love to get Delphi for Linux, but I have been playing with this pascal compiler for a while. It's pretty good, and they are working on Delphi compatibility. It's already very TP compatible.

    free pascal []


  • by JeremyR ( 6924 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @09:55AM (#1860023)
    I'm not sure just what to make of this yet. At least from one point of view, this is a good thing, because I think it gives investors a little more confidence in us (our stock price is up 30-odd % just today!) On the other hand, it does sort of have the ring to it of "selling out to the Evil Empire" or something to that effect. But then, so far it seems to be business as usual. I haven't heard any talk of putting the Solaris/Linux development tools on a back burner. We have a number of people within the company (myself included) who are very excited about Linux, so I don't think this would be permitted to happen. :-)

    You might take what I say with a grain of salt--I work for a different division of the company, and I don't see very much of what's happening over in the division (which appears to be the part of the company most affected by this deal). I guess we'll all have to stay tuned.

  • Any talk of porting Delphi or C++ Builder? This would be a much be bigger challenge than JBuilder or Interbase. Interbase is mostly non-gui (and perhaps it had already been ported to other Unix platforms before Linux???). JBuilder would require no porting if it were written in pure Java to begin with, and if Java were truly platform independent.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Windows 2000 itself isn't 64 bit. Never was supposed to be right off the bat.

    Why push development for a 64-bit architecture right now, when Alpha is the only one, and Merced is over a year away???

    I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about.
  • This seems to me like the "investment" M$ made in Apple: keeping a "competitor" alive so they can defend themselves more easily against antitrust complaints. If Inprise sinks beneath the waves, then M$ suddenly has no real competition in several categories, and DoJ gets more interested...
  • My first thought when I heard the announcement was "my God! I'm now a foot soldier for the evil empire!" along with wondering about whether this was a sign I should be wandering along.

    I've calmed down a bit from the exhaustion of last night, though, and so here's my take
    [heavy disclaimer: there are a lot of things I don't know, as I'm not in management.]

    It's a good thing. It does NOT give MS active control of the company, or even passive control. It gives us a lot of cash --- $125 million is nothing to MS --- equal to almost 2/3 of our annual revenue. We now have resources; we have the room to breathe, and to try innovative things again.
  • He doesn't know what he's talking about? I'm afraid you're being quite rude, and wrong yourself. Intel (or shall we call them Wintel) has a 64 bit mainstream plan that was announced at least a year ago. I'm sure Windoze'64bit is a needed ingredient in this.
  • I don't think Microsoft will change much at

    As a long time supporter of Borland I think
    I'm gonna barf ...
  • I think his point is that, if you're going
    to post inflammatory stuff like this, you
    at least ought to have the balls to do it
    under your own name and not hide behind
    the name of 'anonymous coward'.

    -Robert West
    Delphi QA
  • Just to make it clear, this is not going to change the direction of JBuilder or other Linux projects. Inprise just demoed JBuilder on Linux together with the C++ compiler at last week shareholder meeting. If anything this infusion of cash will give more power to Borland/Inprise to speed up the development.
  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @10:05AM (#1860040)
    Microsoft seems to be adopting a strategy whereby they invest in any company that has some influence on standards.

    In the case of Borland, they probably want support for their Java "extensions" in JBuilder, plus more commitment by Borland to COM and MFC.

    But despite some forays onto other platforms, Borland seemed largely a Windows company anyway. It's a shame because some of their products would have been ideal for a cross-platform strategy.

    I wonder whether these "strategic investments" shouldn't be curtailed. While an investment does not mean the same thing as full ownership, it does guarantee a "seat at the table" and significant influence. It may also be easier to get past antitrust regulators for now.

    Microsoft has sufficiently deep pockets to make those kinds of investments in just about any company that matters, and that bodes ill for any kind of real competition.

  • Don't forget the UltraSparc, that's a good solid 64 bit chip. Also, if I'm not mistaken, most of the MIPS chips, including the R4400 and R8000 are 64 bit. There's lots of good quality, high performance 64 bit architectures out there that aren't vapour like Merced.

    As for the original poster, I can think of a lot of better places for Microsoft to get people with experience on 64 bit architectures. They're nibbling at Inprise because they want to level the alternative compilers market for Windows. It's an attempt to destroy competition even further, plain and simple.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser