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Borland Licenses Windows .NET Framework SDK

Hoping to get its fingers deeper into Microsoft's touted .NET platform, Borland Software Monday became the first to license the Windows .NET Framework Software Development Kit (SDK).

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Widely regarded as the last major independent software development tools vendor left after IBM moved to acquire Rational last December, Scotts Valley, Calif.'s Borland said it made the move to underscore its commitment to offering .NET Connected products.

The company, which pits its software development tools against similar Microsoft products, said it also plans to introduce a new development product for Windows .NET later this year and promised to provide the 3 million-plus Borland developers with more opportunities to build software applications on the Windows .NET Framework.

Microsoft's Eric Rudder, senior vice president for the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division, positioned the move as yet another route to help bring .NET technologies to enterprises.

Analysts believe the creation of an independent application lifecycle solution will provide an attractive alternative for developers who want to use the .NET Framework for some things, but do not wish to get locked in to Microsoft programming tools and technologies. Some developers fear that if they use Visual Studio, they may ultimately be locked into using such Microsoft products as SQL Server database and Exchange Server.

Meta Group Senior Program Director Thomas Murphy said he sees the move as a good one for Borland, and one that demonstrates the competitive cooperation the firm has enjoyed with Microsoft. Borland offers Delphi Studio, which supports such Microsoft scripts as Visual Basic and C#, as a competing product to Microsoft's Visual Studio software tools development portfolio. Because of this, Murphy said Monday's announcement means developers will have more options.

"This shows the growing support for .NET," Murphy told internetnews.com. "Borland recognized this as a market opportunity and said 'we can make money here.' A large number of people that use Delphi will be able to move Delphi into the .NET world."

Borland, widely viewed as an acquisition target for Microsoft as the response to Big Blue's aggressive purchase of Rational, first announced its support for .NET in February 2002.