CONFONZ — Ah, Borland, the former darling of software developers everywhere. Way back when, this company was the first to sell compilers at a price anyone could afford. tuly a liberating paradigm shift, no? Well, the trouble with shifting paradigms is that when someone else shifts one underneath your feet, it tends to take you by surprise. And thus has the open source revolution taken its toll on this, the company that began the cheap programming revolution. After the jump, we'll take a gander at the stupid mistakes and obvious signs of doom and gloom that surround this Scott's Valley Company.
As if losing money weren't enough of a reason to see complete and total collapse on the horizon, it really does seem as though Borland can't find its digital ass with both hands, a flashlight, and Google. Let us detail the company's woes in bullet form, as Gawker media is wont to do.
- Borland has been trying to sell its IDE business for well over a year now. Thanks to IBM's releasing Eclipse to the open source community, Borland is having a tough time selling what everyone can already download for free. Who in their right mind would buy a division that does nothing but sell a product that competes with something that's free? Why, you'd have to be a moron to buy something like that... Oh wait... Didn't AOL do that with Netscape?
- In an effort to speed the sale of its IDE's, Borland spun off that portion of its company as an autonomous unit called CodeGear. Hey, cool name! But wait, now it's not so autonomous any more. Now it's CodeGear: from Borland. Now the managers are being lorded over by Borland folks again. Wait, now Borland's not even trying to sell the group off anymore... indecisive bastards.
- After redefining the entire company as an application lifecycle management firm, Borland throws out its massive suite of tools in favor of smaller chunks of software. Not a big deal, except Borland spent oodles of money evangelizing this all-encompassing suite as the be-all and end-all of ALM products. Oh, it's still the bee's knees, they now say, but it's just got smaller knees.
- CodeGear's woes continue, as the firm is given a new CEO in early April. That thankless task is akin to being put in charge of an open source project at Novell. The ConFonz is now taking bets on just how long this poor bastard, Jim Douglas, can stay in the job.