1. Technology

Conspiracy Theory: Microsoft's .Net IS Borland's Product (2/3)



Back to the future

Anders Hejlsberg, Delphi inventor 1995

• Anders Hejlsberg a quick info
• Anders Hejlsberg Receives Prestigious Excellence in Programming Award

Do you know that the man behind Delphi is Anders Hejlsberg, one of the original members of the Borland company. During his time with Borland he extended its' Turbo Pascal compiler. Eventually he became the chief architect for the team which produced the replacement for Turbo Pascal - Delphi. As a chief architect at Borland, Hejlsberg secretly turned Turbo Pascal into an object-oriented application development language, complete with a truly visual environment and superb database-access features. Once touted as the "VB killer," Delphi has remained a cornerstone product for Borland.
In 1996 he left Borland and joined Microsoft where he was the man behind J++ and the Windows Foundation Classes. More recently he has led the team which has created the C# programming language, and he's been a key participant in the development of the .NET Framework.

Borland vs. Microsoft, a lawsuit 1996/1997

• Borland sues Microsoft over brain drain
• Borland and Microsoft Announce Settlement
• What do you want to own today?

When Turbo-Pascal and Delphi Developer Anders Hejlsberg and Chief developer Paul Gross (internet specific products) left Borland to work for Microsoft, luring them with a generous salary, stock options, and a large sign-on bonus, Borland sued for unfair recruiting practices. Borland also claimed - that Hejlsberg was working on "Delphi for Java."
In the suit Borland alleged that Microsoft had hired 34 Borland employees over the past 30 months in order to steal Borland trade secrets. Borland also claimed that Microsoft offered and delivered expensive lures to Borland workers. In two cases, incentives topping $1 million were involved.
According to the suit:
• Among the defecting workers were Paul Gross, Borland's senior R&D VP, and Anders Hejlsberg, a major player in the development of Borland's technology.
• Microsoft offered Paul Gross a $1 million signing bonus, stock options, and title to real estate near Microsoft's headquarters. He left Borland for Microsoft in September 1996.
• Microsoft offered Anders Hejlsberg a signing bonus of $1.5 million and stock options. Microsoft doubled the bonus to $3 million after Borland made a counter-offer. Hejlsberg left Borland in October 1996.

Due to the circumstances, Borland reports quarterly losses for the 4th time within the last 8 quarters (2 years) and announces they will reduce the number of employees by 15%. Borland wants to leave the end user business and enter the market for business solutions.

After two years, Borland and Microsoft have settled their lawsuit. In a joint statement, Borland and Microsoft said, "We believe this settlement is in the best interest of both our companies. This settlement resolves any legal questions surrounding the lawsuit and allows both companies to move forward." With that short statement, both companies have agreed to make no further comments on the settlement. Details of the settlement were confidential. So this suit was eventually settled; by that time, however, Microsoft had put Hejlsberg to work.

Microsoft "buys" Borland, 1999
• Microsoft Buys Into Inprise (Borland), Settles Disputes
• Borland and Microsoft Announce Settlement
• Microsoft: Resistance is futile

June 8, 1999. Microsoft has bought a $25 million stake in Inprise, formerly Borland, and entered into a $100 million alliance with the former rival. Companies announced a set of technology and licensing agreements that will be the basis for a long-term alliance between the two companies. As part of the Microsoft/Inprise partnership, Inprise has agreed to do the following:
• Support the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system, including the COM+ and the Windows Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture;
• License the latest version of the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC), the standard C++ class library for developing applications for Windows. MFC will ship with Borland C++Builder;
• License the latest version of the Windows platform software development kit (SDK) through the Microsoft Open Tools licensing programm.
And most importantly, the companies have also agreed to settle a number of long-standing patent and technology licensing issues.

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Delphi
  4. Learn Delphi for .NET
  5. Conspiracy Theory: Microsoft's .Net IS Borland's Product (2/3)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.