Don't announce an acquisition until it's locked up

by Volker Weber

Is Microsoft snatching Rational Software from IBM? And who (if anyone) is buying Borland?

The IT world is buzzing with rumors that IBM's announced purchase of Rational Software has hit a snag: Microsoft. The rumor is that Microsoft also wants to own Rational, and will outpay IBM to get it. The peculiar aspect for either would-be buyer is that Rational's product line serves both Microsoft .NET and IBM Java technology. Assuming it is bought by either of these companies, what will happen to the Rational products that support "the enemy"?

A second rumor is that Microsoft might buy Borland, another Java and .NET tools maker. In addition to its own popular products, Borland now owns tool vendor TogetherSoft. If Microsoft acquires Borland, what would happen to the popular JBuilder and other Java-focused tools? If Microsoft gets Rational, might IBM buy Borland in defense?

Or, as another rumor has it, is Microsoft trying to buy both Borland AND Rational? If the competitive marketplace consolidates this much, especially in Microsoft's favor, how might the U.S. Justice Department react?

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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