As music from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 blared in the background, a gorilla stepped onto the stage at Borland Software Corp.’s 12th annual conference, BorCon.
With the bone in its hand, the gorilla smashed to bits white foam letters reading Inprise. Once the gorilla was done, much larger letters reading Borland appeared behind it as the audience cheered, signaling the completion of company’s painful name change experiment.
The gorilla then took off its mask, and David Intersimone, the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based software development company’s vice-president of developer relations stepped out of the gorilla suit.
“Hello David,” a calm voice said overhead. It was the voice of the Dale 9000, Borland’s counterpart to 2001’s demented computer, HAL.
“I’ve just picked up system faults,” the Dale 9000 said, attributing the failure to human error. But unlike 2001’s HAL, whose shortcomings led to disaster, the Dale 9000 had a panacea ready at hand – adopting all-Borland software.
After the quick fix, Borland’s CEO and president, Dale Fuller stepped onto the stage.
“I want to welcome everyone here to our family reunion,” he said.
It was the first BorCon he’d attended as the president of Borland, he said, referring to the company’s unpopular name change to Inprise. “The name change is not just cosmetic,” he said. “We’re not just back, we’re back with a vengeance.”
Fuller said Borland’s focus will be on the Internet, and he added that Microsoft is two years behind the company. “I want this company to be the de facto standard on all devices,” he said. “I want your customers saying, ‘If you’re not using Borland products, I can’t use you.'”
After the keynote, Fuller drew criticism from a user complaining about the rising cost of using Borland’s enterprise products. The price increases came without warning, the user said, leaving him short and the company’s CFO unhappy with the IT department at an economically tenuous time.
The price increases were necessary to keep the company vital, Fuller countered. “There are economics,” he said. “We gruel over it. Cost is what cost is.”
As a result of the company’s strategy, it is stronger than before, he said later. “‘Will we see the millennium?’ Remember that question?” he said. “We want to be here 10 years from now,” he said during the keynote. “We do have the products of the future.”
During the keynote, the company demonstrated it’s new TeamSource DSP (developer services platform) for the first time in public. The product is designed for collaborative developing environments for teams creating across firewalls and cities.
Borland Canada in Markham, Ont. is at http://www.borland.ca/Borland;
BorCon is online at http://www.borland.com/conf2001/