Market Intelligence

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-06-07 Print this article Print

Microsofts coy denial of being interested in moving upmarket in the enterprise software market has always been comically implausible. Back in March, the company provided the DOJ with a sworn statement to the effect that it has no plans to enter the enterprise market within the next two years. Oh, puh-leaze. The disclosure about the SAP deal only confirms what most of us have always assumed: namely, that a company that goes out and buys two enterprise application companies (Great Plains and Navision) and which has pledged to invest the enormous sum of $10 billion in R&D into this space over the next five years has every intention of taking the enterprise software market by storm.
Click here to read more about Microsofts acquisition of Navision.
Oracle will put Microsofts Cindy Bates on the stand as its 18th witness out of 25 this week. Antitrust experts expect Oracle to paint Microsoft as a strong competitor in the enterprise market. As Paul Friedman, a Washington, D.C.-based partner at law firm Dechert LLP, told me, "Oracle hopes to show that Microsoft has very ambitious plans to participate in that space and, frankly, has substantial business imperatives to be successful in that space." Microsoft will likely contend that just because it was interested in SAP doesnt mean that it was interested in entering the high-end enterprise space. As Friedman pointed out, theres more to SAP than high-end software. "It begs the question," Friedman said. "[Microsoft was trying] to enter which market?" Indeed, what would Microsoft have bought if it acquired SAP? Next page: Microsoft needed SAP to cure its scalability and sales problems.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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