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Microsoft invests in Inprise

Inprise and Microsoft announce a long-term technology licensing pact backed by a 10-percent investment in Inprise by the software giant.

Inprise and Microsoft today announced a long-term technology licensing pact backed by a 10-percent investment in Inprise by the software giant.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement that the agreement with Inprise includes a $25 million purchase by Microsoft of Inprise shares of preferred stock.

Under the agreement, Microsoft said it will provide Inprise with technologies related to the Windows platform. Microsoft also paid Inprise $100 million for the rights to use Inprise-patented technology in Microsoft products and to settle a number of long-standing patent and technology licensing issues, the two companies said. The total value of the Microsoft investment and payment to Inprise is $125 million.

Inprise, a provider of software and services that simplifies complex application development for companies, has agreed to enhance its line of products and services to support various Microsoft systems and software, the two companies said.

For instance, Scotts Valley, California-based Inprise will support the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system. In addition, Inprise said it will license technology from Microsoft in order to develop applications for Windows. Components of the Windows platform software development kit will be incorporated into Inprise's Borland family of Windows-based development tools.

As previously reported, Inprise, a struggling company had said it was exploring whether to split up into two separate entities and hired investment banking firm Hambrech & Quist to advise Inprise's board of directors on "strategic alternatives," which generally means seeking a buyer, investor, or partners. At the time, an Inprise executive had declined to state whether one option was to sell all or part of the company.

In April, Inprise had named former Apple Computer executive Dale Fuller as its interim chief executive to replace the company's former CEO Del Yocam, who the Inprise board had asked to resign over philosophical differences in company strategy.