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8/8/2006
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Borland To Spin Off Developer Tools Group

Though Borland hasn't officially announced the pending divestiture, a company executive confirmed the plan Tuesday.

Borland Software plans to spin off its renowned Borland Developer Tools Group as an independent organization.

Though Borland hasn't officially announced the pending divestiture, a company executive confirmed the plan Tuesday. "All of the investors that are interested are private equity companies," said David Intersimone, vice president of developer relations at Cupertino, Calif.-based Borland.

Borland partners and users have been wondering what would become of the legendary software development group -- which invented the integrated development environment (IDE) 20 years ago -- since February, when the company announced that it would restructure and sell off the IDE product line that once formed its core.

The plan means that Borland's tools team will be in control of its own fate, rather than face the uncertainty an acquisition by a larger hardware or software vendor would have brought. For months, bloggers and pundits have kicked around lists of potential suitors, including Oracle, IBM and Novell.

Borland aims to finalize the details of the Developer Tools Group's spin-off this quarter, clearing the way for an announcement of its new organization by early fall. By going independent, the group would follow a trail recently trodden by Ingres, the company formed last year to develop and evangelize the open-source Ingres database technology after CA pushed it out of the nest.

Borland's Developer Tools Group celebrated its looming independence with a new product announcement: It's reviving its venerable Turbo brand of single-language IDEs for students and hobbyists. The first four new titles -- Turbo Delphi for Win32, Turbo Delphi for .Net, Turbo C++ and Turbo C# -- are slated to launch in September. Each product will come in two editions, a free Turbo Explorer version and a Turbo Professional version priced at about $500. The pro edition will include support for third-party plugins, among other added features.

Whereas Borland's Developer Studio IDE products target enterprise developers, the Turbo software is more entry-level, a point underscored by its retro packaging and playful Web site. The group has even seeded YouTube with a video episode of "The Adventures of Turboman", resurrecting a character from '80s-era Borland ads.

"It's part of bringing some of the fun back to the world of software development," Intersimone said. "The Turbo line has that name that was associated with the beginners, the students, the casual developers. This is really reinforcing our focus on all types of developers."

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