Effects on the Competition

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-11-15 Print this article Print

With this Team System Microsoft is saying theyre creating this big ecosystem around it, which provides both opportunities and competition for other vendors. How can people like Borland compete? Well, Eclipse has some of the same impact on Borland that Visual Studio .Net does. I made the comment earlier on that Eclipse was one of the few win-win-wins for the industry. Its great for the larger companies, the IDE suppliers. Its great for the smaller companies because they get a big market in which to build add-ins and its great for the end users. But its not so great for the Borlands and the Compuwares of the world who are trying to build independent toolsets.
And so Ive had candid conversations with Borland about how they might exploit Eclipse. Because what you have to do when somebody commoditizes your core infrastructure is you have to go up a level or two of abstraction and contribute there. So I would love to see Borland take a more aggressive role in contributing to the Java technology in Eclipse using their own technology. I think there are ways for Borland instead of seeing Eclipse or even Visual Studio .Net as commoditizing competitors, to see them as an opportunity on which to focus their resources on what they do best and better than anyone else. But thats a tough transition for companies to make.
So getting back to your core point, Visual Studio .Net is a reality in our industry. Eclipse is gaining share very rapidly, particularly if you think of Eclipse, not as how many customers use Eclipse off the shelf, but rather whats the percentage of users who are working on Eclipse-based platforms—where youre considering Eclipse itself, SAPs NetWeaver, HPs OpenView, IBMs WebSphere, the thing has more than a 50 percent market share in Java. And thats the important metric. Its not how many people use Eclipse out of the box, its how many people use Eclipse-based development environments. Whats the market share there? Whats next for the Eclipse platform? The technical direction was absent from what we were doing. Its growing broadly because of the foundations independence from IBM. A lot of companies who were nervous about IBMs role when it was an IBM-dominated organization are a lot more comfortable now, both formally and informally. I think if anything the boogeyman is going to be growth. Do you think well see an open source Java? I certainly hope so. Its a perfect technology to open it that way. And it would dramatically accelerate innovation and adoption. And I think it would create more opportunities for all parties. I think, like Eclipse, it would be a win for all of the major players and the users. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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