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By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2004-06-24 Print this article Print

Bates e-mail suggests that IBM may also have been a suitor for SAP. "It is probably wise to let Sagittarius know that we would be willing to have conversations with them (with some indication of reasonably aggressive pricing) so that should Indus change its strategy and approach Sagittarius about an acquisition, we would be positioned to have a seat on the table too," Bates wrote.

Microsoft held talks with SAPs leadership about a possible acquisition in the fall of 2003. However, Microsofts ardor for the acquisition faded when the two companies considered the potential difficulties of integrating the two multinational organizations, Burgum testified.

Is the Oracle buyout of PeopleSoft illegal or just predatory? Read what John Pallatto has to say.
Burgum denied persistent assertions by Oracle lead attorney Daniel Wall under cross examination that Microsoft is planning to build up the capabilities of the MBS applications to compete in the high-end enterprise market now that the company has abandoned the SAP acquisition. MBS applications include financial management, accounting, supply chain, human resources and customer relationship management.

Wall cited a Microsoft business presentation that showed that the "footprint" of the Microsoft MBS applications "has expanded significantly" into the "corporate application software" market, which includes organizations with as many as 5,000 employees.

Burgum, however, said that the company is growing in the midrange market, the market MBS applications have always served. Microsoft, he said, has no plans to target the MBS applications at the same size organizations served by Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP.

Under direct examination by DOJ attorney Phillip Malone, Burgum said a recent MBS reorganization that has him reporting directly to Ballmer isnt part of a plan to expand the focus of the group into the high-end enterprise market.

Nor are the 120 new features and enhancements released this month in the latest version of the Great Plains financial management applications aimed at the high-end enterprise market, he said.

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John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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