Borland exec questions Sun's head-to-head competition with Microsoft

Borland Software president and chief executive officer Dale Fuller is not optimistic about partner company Sun Microsystems'...

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Borland Software president and chief executive officer Dale Fuller is not optimistic about partner company Sun Microsystems' chance to unseat Microsoft on the desktop.

Sun admittedly has taken heat for trying to compete with Microsoft Windows with Sun's Java Desktop System and StarOffice applications suite. Sun remains undaunted, but Fuller said it is questionable whether Sun can successfully compete against Microsoft on the desktop.

Fuller and Borland chief technology officer, Blake Stone, both questioned the wisdom of competing head-to-head with Microsoft, even though Borland tools for Microsoft's platform compete with Microsoft's own Visual Studio. Borland officials, however, maintain that Microsoft is a partner.

"In the same way they see Visual Studio as an asset, they see us as an asset," Stone said.

Fuller also commented on the company's outsourcing plans.

Borland does not outsource development but instead maintains Borland developers in several countries, he said.

While salaries may not be precisely equal to those in the US, on a relative scale overseas developers probably make more than Borland's US-based developers.

He and Stone stressed that not much can be done about the tide of jobs shifting to cheaper labour markets.

"We're a global company," Fuller said. "We compete against the world."He also said that he opposed government restrictions which would force consumers to buy products from only their own country.

Borland revenues have grown from $140m in 1999 to about $300m (£180m) in 2003, which are split evenly between Windows and Java tools.

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld



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