Exclusive: Borland announces new name and new strategy

Middleware and tools company Borland International, is today attempting to reinvent itself once again by changing its name to Inprise, in what one analyst described as a "survival" strategy .

Following its acquisition of software toolmaker, Visigenic on February 27, Inprise will now focus on producing object and component based development tools for the enterprise market but will continue to actively use the Borland brand for its application development tools.

Delbert W. Yocam, chairman and chief executive officer of Inprise said: "We are no longer a renegade software company that tries to go it alone. Today, we are the only company in the marketplace to combine world-class development tools with industry-leading object middleware and application management facilities allowing customers to fully exploit the benefits of this new computing paradigm."

Alan Bannon, director of developer relations at Symantec believes it will take more than a change of name to assure customers the new company knows what it is doing. "Our customers are interested in a stable company that can offer continuous and stable solutions. No one is waiting for Borland."

Anne Stephens, president of US analyst, PC Data shares Bannan's view and said the days of empire building for the company are well over. "Borland has reinvented itself many times before and nearly died as a result. Look at what happened when it bought Ashton Tate (maker of dBase). It nearly crippled them."

Moving toward the burgeoning enterprise market may seem like a golden opportunity according to Stephens, but the fledgling company will now have to compete with the likes of Microsoft. Stephens added: "It doesn't surprise me that Borland has changed its name and strategy but this is a survival thing and only time will tell if it has made the right decision."

Tony Picardi, vice president of software services at IDC believes Borland's "metamorphosis" will "position the company at the centre of the distributed computing market... we think Inprise has a very good chance of growing its market share and becoming a leading vendor in the distributed object computing market," he said.