Mike Cowpland and Dale Fuller: The CEOs of Corel and Inprise speak out

By Michael Lattig, InfoWorld |  Operating Systems

Last week, Corel and Inprise, two companies that in recent years have struggled to find their places in a Microsoft-dominated software market, forged a relationship bound by Linux. Armed with a strong core of users, engineers, and equity, the two will now plow ahead arm in arm, looking for the market share that has eluded them on their own.

Just days after consummating their marriage, the CEOs of Corel and Inprise, Mike Cowpland and Dale Fuller, sat down with InfoWorld Senior Writer Michael Lattig to discuss the synergies between the companies and what the future might hold for their combined venture.

InfoWorld: I guess we should start by asking the question that people often ask of couples: What do you guys see in each other?

Cowpland: Basically we're on the same wavelength: that the Internet is driving everything and we need to be open-oriented. Both companies have been approaching this from different directions and now you have a real end-to-end solution. Also, both companies move at a very good speed, which is very important in an Internet world.

Fuller: On a personal level, it is exciting to work with a founder of this revolution that is defining the whole computer industry. He [Cowpland] has been around this since the beginning in founding Corel around Internet productivity software, and we at Borland have been building application development tools primarily for business professionals that want to build applications that run on top of the various operating systems out there. So when you think about it, what is really great is that we've both been providing solutions out there to problems businesses and individuals have been having.

Now with the Internet, it's all about speed and how fast you can move, so it made a lot of sense to take our two companies, to take the office productivity solutions, the graphics solutions, and the development tools and then leverage all the communications -- a term we coined, Internet Access Infrastructure, which is all the enterprise-level communications tools -- and leverage those together to achieve a first-mover advantage in this marketplace.

Also, because we're the only solution out there in the marketplace that bridges from a Windows or a [Sun] Solaris world to the Linux world, we really bridge that gap and help people leverage the new technology that's coming out. So you don't have to be bound up into a closed architecture.

Cowpland: I think that what we thought was different [about Inprise] from the other Linux companies was the awareness of the Windows and now the Solaris platform, so now people can enjoy the benefits of their existing infrastructure but still have the open Internet future.

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