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Fuller Proclaims Borland Is Back

PHILADELPHIA -- The tenth annual Inprise/Borland Conference was the coming-out party for its president and CEO Dale Fuller on Sunday night. Thirteen weeks into his new post, Fuller took his keynote address as an opportunity to answer the countless questions that developers have been asking since Del Yocam left the post in April.

"What the hell’s going on with this company?" asked Fuller. After Yocam’s exit, Inprise Corp. (www.inprise.com) has announced two losing quarters and then made the unthinkable deal: took a $125 million dollar investment from Microsoft Corp. in return for settling a number of technology disputes.

Fuller insisted Borland developers will benefit from the deal if they get past the obvious animosity between the two companies. "We’ve been at war with [Microsoft] for years and that war’s over," says Fuller, who describes the new relationship with the software giant as co-opetition. "They have no hooks in us to make us do anything."

Fuller also responds to those who thought the company wasn’t going to make it through the millennium, saying not only does Inprise have enough cash to stay afloat but it will invest more in the development cycle, releasing innovations sooner.

One of those is Delphi 5, which will be officially announced Monday. The new version of the development tool features Internet support and an ActiveX object database. Fuller says Inprise is doubling its effort on Delphi.

"With the strength of the core of your believers, you can do anything," expounds Fuller. "It’s about you guys that we’ve kept loyal." Fuller continued to play to the packed Philadelphia Convention Center Ballroom filled with developers religious to the Borland development tools. In fact, on many banners throughout the Convention Center, the Borland name was much larger and over-shadowed the Inprise one, giving the sense that Borland was back. The company changed the name to Inprise last year.

Fuller came to Inprise from WhoWhere Inc., an Internet company he started until it was purchased by Lycos for $133 million in stock. Before that he developed Powerbooks for Apple Computer Inc. and the portable Versas for NEC. One attendee asked Fuller if he was brought on board Inprise to put the company in a position to be acquired. Fuller responded that he couldn’t say yes or no but that his immediate mission was to get consistency and speed into the product cycle.

Later that evening in a press briefing, Fuller spoke about helping developers move their applications to the Linux platform and Windows 2000 when it comes out later this year. He said now that the lawyers were out of the way, Microsoft and Inprise could work together to provide better opportunities for developers. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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