CodeGear := TSubsidiaryFactory.NewSubsidiary;

15 November 2006

Unless you've been living the good life and relaxing over the past 24 hours, you'll most likely have heard that Borland have split off their Developers Tools Group into a new wholly-owned subsidiary called CodeGear.

Um. OK, then. After all the palava, that was a damp squib, wasn't it?

I'm sorry but to this outside observer the whole cleaving-in-twain story is just ridiculous, and is made especially so by this statement in the "Borland Forms CodeGear" FAQ:

"The challenge came when we went about separating two operations that have been interlinked for over 23 years. We found we were not able to adequately separate the financials in a way that could demonstrate what we believe to be the true value of this business."

So Borland were able to, er, "adequately separate the financials" in order to create a brand new subsidiary with its own balance sheet, budget, staff, and wherewithal to succeed (which presumably would be easier to sell in the future -- ooh, did I just say that?) but were unable to do so for a divestiture? Somehow, I don't think so. Maybe the problem lies in the words "true value"; perhaps Borland's "true value" was at odds to that of all those white knights in waiting.

It also smacks a little of desperation: the decision seems to have happened so quickly that, although they had purchased CodeGear.com some time ago (December 2004), they didn't have time to create, you know, a web site with more than one animated GIF and a link to a PR company. In this age of Web 2.0 mega-functionality, it's severely minimalist, perhaps even Japanese in its outlook. Edgy, that.

(Note for future historians: on the day of the announcement, the main page of CodeGear.com consisted of an animated GIF that cycled through some code snippets that said "CodeGear = new Company();" in various programming languages, together with a link to a PR company.)

And I'm not quite sure why this split wasn't done first anyway. Possibly to hide the financials of the DTG for a little longer is my best guess.

Anyway, I wish CodeGear all the best. They have some good, if a little underdeveloped, products, some excellent and enthusiastic people on staff, and lots of get-up-and-go. I hope that Borland leave them alone—although I'm sure that, like subsidiaries the world over, they have some strong deliverables to the parent company—for long enough for them to find their feet and succeed. Certainly the doubts of the past ten months can be cast aside and the plans for the future pursued with vigor.

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