As you probably know by now, Delphi has a new owner. After 25 years of Borland Turbo Pascal and later Borland Delphi, after the Inprise fiasco and Borland ALM focus (a fiasco, as well?), two years after the announcement that Borland was trying to sell its IDE tools, at last we know what lies ahead. And the future looks brighter than it was a few days ago...

After so long, the Delphi community is going to say farewell to Borland. This is partially sad (as a few people mentioned) but it was about time to distance Delphi from the company and the management than sank the ship, while they kept cheering and dancing. I'm not sure if it is Delphi that's leaving Borland or, at the opposite, the real Borland, the barbarians Borland, the developers Borland, the Scotts Valley Borland, the good-old-Borland that's now sailing free, setting its own course, and kicking off the remnants of a company that took over and "usurped" its name for far too long.

That name we won't have any more (well unless some big buys the ALM assets and sells the name back to Embarcadero, but I'm dreaming here!), and probably even the young CodeGear brand is not going to survive. I don't particularly like the Embarcadero Technologies name, but it certainly accounts for a few good puns... and will probably get used to it anyway. Here is the formal announcement: "With more than $100 million in annual revenue and over 500 employees worldwide, the combined companies will operate under the Embarcadero Technologies name."

Some Facts About the Acquisition

  • Borland is going to get about 30 million dollars, even if Embarcadero is going to spend 23 millions. The reason is that Borland is going to receive money of current product sales that are still not part of the balance sheet (accounts receivable).
  • Embarcadero Technologies is buying CodeGear, but as the two companies are about the same size, it looks more like a merger than an acquisition. Also, it looks an extremely friendly merger, as (former) CodeGear employees sound quite happy in their blog posts.
  • How comes a company the size of Embarcadero can shell out such an amount of money? It comes from Embarcadero parent company, the real owner and buyer, Thoma Cressey Bravo. With a current portfolio of software companies (one of their many sectors) totaling approximately 2 billion dollars in revenues, this is not exactly a small player, even if a financial one.
  • TCB, by the way, recently bought InstallShield.
  • CodeGear has kept doing quite well. Its first quarter with revenues at 12.2 million dollars (earnings were not detailed, AFAIK) was in line with the previous year. Not astonishing like the 4th quarter 2007, but not bad either. Still Borland overall lost another 4 million dollars, before considering GAAP elements that place the loss at 22.3 millions. Nice we are leaving and don't have to worry any more!

There is certainly much more to say, but at least I wanted to set a few facts straight.

Some Links to News and Comments

I know you've been deluged with links to official announcements, blogs posts, and more. I don't want to provide all the links I have... but a few is probably already too many! I'll skip the official announcements I already linked yesterday...

  • The main thread in the newsgroups, with many posts by DavidI and Nick Hodges, among others. (I'm glad to have an AJAX version of the NNTP front end, as the thread is quite huge!)
  • Allen Bauer, first and second post
  • Nick Hodges is juiced up
  • DavidI blogs here
  • Greg Keller (Embarcadero Product Manager) has a great post (and yes, he does mention Delphi, not only Java and dynamic scripting languages).
  • A critical post with interesting replies by Greg and Nick.
  • And for the worst title look no further than sys-con. if "dumping" is the term use to sell the only part of your company making money, you are probably a finance genius.

In Greg's post read in particular this comment by the author himself: "We’re here to build a business that serves and grows these traditional bases while moving into exciting new emerging areas. To prove this point somewhat, while Embarcadero will be the go forward name of the company, we are so enchanted with the history and ‘cleanliness’ of the CodeGear portfolio that Embarcadero’s ‘traditional’ portfolio will likely be rolled into a parallel branded business unit to be known as provider!"

Wow, this might mean that the CodeGear brand is not going to be lost, after all! And, even more, that Delphi is far from dead: Embarcadero seems to understand there is a huge value in "traditional client/server" development, as they do have products in the same area.

Some More Thoughts

One fact is certain. Delphi is now in a stronger and safer harbor than it has even been for its entire life. Since Delphi 1 days, I kept hearing the mantra "good product, but Borland won't survive 'till the end of the year". Borland did survive, and Delphi did survive (far longer than PowerBuilder, VB for Win32, and all of its competitors)... but now it can even prosper. Let's open all of our sails, let's the wind blow strong, our new ship is setting the course for another 10 years of Delphi, CodeGear Delphi, Embarcadero Delphi, or Borland Delphi is you still like calling it that way. Jump with Delphi on the new Embarcadero ship... Go, Delphi, go!