High price is right for Borland

Borland is back, thanks to fat sales of premium-priced products.

That was the message from the firm today as it revelled in yesterday's news that it had recorded its second successive profitable quarter. The Californian outfit is clearly benefiting from its year-old decision to focus on development tools and is emerging as a leaner, meaner operation.

"Things are looking a lot better," said Nigel Brown, Borland UK managing director. "From a UK perspective we've been profitable for many, many years. The speculation that we would be sold was very heavy a year ago but we've definitely turned the corner."

Brown said that its chief gains had come from full-priced products: "There has been a huge increase in sales of high-end products, Delphi client-server in particular."

Borland recently released Delphi for AS/400 and will release a version for SAP this month to be followed by Delphi Enterprise Edition, a middleware product based on Entera, software acquired from Open Environment Corp.

Brown said that Borland had also enjoyed strong sales of its JBuilder Java development tool despite its £399 list price tag.

"Microsoft J++ is a Mickey Mouse product you can get for £40 but JBuilder is proof that you can still sell a full-priced product to Java developers," Brown said. "Java is a huge market ready to take off but currently the tools are very weak."

A £1,500 client-server version of JBuilder will follow shortly.

Brown said Borland UK has 35 staff and added he expects to employ 20 per cent more staff a year from now.