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Tech Meter Analysis: IBM aims to get Rational

    Tech Meter Analysis: IBM aims to get Rational By CNET News.com Staff
    December 6, 2002 3:30 PM PST

    IBM will pay $2.1 billion in cash to acquire modeling tools company Rational Software, in a bid to win over more application developers.
    Read the December 6, 2002 story.

    Below is our take on what "IBM aims to get Rational" means.

    IBM Up
    The deal is a big win for IBM, which gains modeling and testing tools to round-out its growing line of development tools tied to its WebSphere application server. IBM now has a well-rounded stable of development tools. Rational's tools, combined with IBM's Eclipse open-source framework movement, means Big Blue threatens to build the first well-packaged, easy to use tools package for Java developers. In the process, it presents a more comprehensive, well-rounded tools picture than arch-rival BEA Systems?which is attempting to build its own full-function integrated development environment--in the Java application server market. IBM also scores a hit against Microsoft, which has long led the tools market in ease of use, leading to high sales volume for its Visual Studio toolset. A competent Java competitor, wed to a popular application server, could give Microsoft fits as it seeks to establish its own application server--Windows .Net Server 2003--in the coming months as the cornerstone of its .Net strategy.
    Other resources about IBM: White Papers | Case studies | Webcasts | Company info & news


    Borland Up
    As one of the last major independent tools makers, Borland looks more valuable by the day. The company could become an acquisition target. A likely suitor would be Sun Microsystems, which lacks a relevant tools strategy and trails badly in the application server market.
    Other resources about Borland: White Papers | Case studies | Webcasts | Company info & news


    Microsoft Down
    The acquisition of Rational quickly and decisively changes the balance of power in the software development market. Rational played Switzerland to both of the superpowers in the software world, IBM and Microsoft. The company offered tools for .Net and Java, and Microsoft relied on Rational to provide its modeling tools lineup. That could all change once IBM takes over, forcing Microsoft to buy or build its own modeling tools. The company could also partner with tools maker Mercury Interactive. The deal may also upset the applecart that is .Net, as Microsoft gets ready to ship its first real .Net-enabled operating system.
    Other resources about Microsoft: White Papers | Case studies | Webcasts | Company info & news


    BEA Systems Down
    Given that IBM and BEA are neck-and-neck in application server sales, a bona fide suite of tools from IBM could easily tip the scales in IBM's favor.
    Other resources about BEA Systems: White Papers | Case studies | Webcasts | Company info & news


    Sun Microsystems Down
    The company continues to struggle with its disjointed software strategy, and looks to be even further behind in the application server market after the Rational deal closes.
    Other resources about IBM: White Papers | Case studies | Webcasts | Company info & news





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