"There are several theories as to why Microsoft did a deal
with Corel, but neither a Linux-based liaison nor assuaging
antitrust concerns stand up to serious examination. On the
antitrust front, Microsoft is probably more concerned about its PR
image vis-a-vis the punters than the court of appeals. There are
some clues about the real reason for the apparent chumminess if we
look at how the deal came about - and especially at what remained
unexplained after the analyst call."
"Following former CEO Mike Cowpland's resigation in mid-August,
Microsoft's developer division general manager Tom Button emailed
Derek Burney to congratulate him on being made interim
CEO/president. (Not surprisingly, the Corel board confirmed his
appointment yesterday.) The two had had a working relationship
since they worked on a licensing deal. Burney's response resulted
in an invitation to Redmond and a brief .NET briefing, with the
result that the Microsoft investment was hatched."
"Curiously, Microsoft's 10 per cent stake in Inprise/Borland
would have given it a stake in Corel earlier, had that merger gone
ahead. From Microsoft's point of view, the departure of Cowpland
was important, since he had proved to be an implacable opponent,
which begs the question as to whether there had previously been
hints about Microsoft's desire for a deal, if Cowpland stood down.
Ironically, Cowpland is one of the big winners from the deal, in
view of the size of his shareholding."
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