NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Strategic hostility

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Strategic hostility

After I suggested to Amber that we "do our own thing" on some of the days during our vacation to Hawaii, she got angry enough to bark at me: "OK, let's take separate flights back home."

Takeover target

BEA officials are considering a hostile takeover of tools vendor Borland, one spy reports. The app server vendor is looking to bolster its tool box, despite the fact that it had essentially abandoned WebGain - the tools conglomeration of which BEA owned a significant chunk - due to a lack of confidence in WebGain's management team.

Although analysts have been saying for at least the past two years that the market for standalone tools vendors is nearing extinction, Borland is not ready to sell its soul to Beelzebub just yet. Hence, it would have to be a hostile takeover by BEA. But the parties involved would do well to remember the chicanery that led to the demise of WebGain.

At one point, WebGain had been negotiating with BEA for acquisition. When that deal started going sour, the company talked to Borland, which in principle agreed to buy WebGain but then reneged. That devalued WebGain such that eventually the company's products were sold to Oracle and TopGain for a fraction of their original value. The moral of the story: remember to count your fingers before you leave when dealing with tools vendors in the Valley.

Corona, with lime

When Microsoft finally rolls out its Corona multimedia server for .Net, it may have to referee a fight among its biggest potential partners. Akamai, Speedera, and Cable & Wireless are all suing each other over intellectual property rights, creating something of a PR headache for Microsoft executives trying to line up partners for the launch of Corona.

Dell deals

It looks like Dell is growing roots into new markets, and in so doing, is infringing on some of the territory currently owned by two of its key partners, Intel and Hewlett-Packard. Two of my spies tell me that Dell is going to start using Advanced Micro Devices' latest Athlon XP processors in their PCs. My spies guess that Dell will use them in its new unbranded white-box PCs, at least at first. Another spy says Dell has just received a bunch of Lexmark printers, with plans to rebrand and sell them with Dell PCs, thereby sticking it to printer partner HP.

It would have cost too much for us to take separate flights home, luckily for me. "I guess you are stuck with me, Bobby," Amber whined. I tried to explain that she is taking this all wrong.

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