Regarding Dave Kearns' column "Microsoft: The plot thickens": Add Inprise/Borland to the list of weak competitors that Microsoft has recently propped up with cash infusions of over $100 million.
Apple, Corel and Inprise/Borland are direct competitors of Microsoft's in desktop operating systems, Windows development tools and Windows office suites, respectively. It is interesting to speculate about Microsoft's motivation in these initiatives. Such events are quite uncommon in a competitive environment.
Imagine the Yankees spotting the Mets a couple of runs. Would you call that a real competition?
Don't these transactions provide evidence that there is no real competition for Microsoft inn these three markets? And isn't that just the opposite of what Microsoft may be trying to achieve? One more thought: Since it has now occurred at least three times, doesn't it seem as if there is an organized effort within Microsoft to actively seek these opportunities?