Microsoft partners with, buys shares in Inprise

Microsoft partners with, buys shares in Inprise

Long-time rivals Microsoft and Inprise this week announced a set of technology and licensing agreements that will be the basis for a long-term alliance between the two companies.

The announcement includes Microsoft buying $US25 million of Inprise preferred stock, but the companies pegged the value of the entire partnership for the troubled development-tools vendor at $US125 million.

Enmity between the duo dates back to when Inprise, then known as Borland International, had a wider range of products that often put it in direct competition with Microsoft.

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 program. Elements of the Windows platform SDK will be incorporated into Inprise's Borland family of Windows-based development tools.

The agreement provides a basis for Inprise's support of Microsoft technologies in the Internet and elsewhere, Inprise said in a statement.

Microsoft has made a long-term commitment to provide Inprise with technologies related to the Windows platform and Internet technologies and has paid Inprise $US100 million for the rights to use Inprise-patented technology in Microsoft products. The companies have also agreed to settle a number of long-standing patent and technology licensing issues.

Windows customers will benefit from Inprise's additional support of Microsoft technologies, Microsoft said.

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