An alternative to Delphi's Roadmap to Success

Posted on 2006-10-26
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Id be interested in knowing how many feel the same as this guy.

An alternative to Delphi's Roadmap to Success

I myself, agree 98%

Question by:unsysapps
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Wim ten Brink earned 20 total points
ID: 17817798
Personally, I don't think Borland has much of a choice here. Microsoft is dictating how new development systems should work and MS made it very clear that they just want .NET applications instead of native WIN32/WIN64 applications. As a result, Delphi might end up only supporting legacy systems and not be able to keep up with the newest developments. Borland already has problems keeping up with the latest .NET version anyways.

So in my opinion, Borland has no choice but to continue investing in .NET development. It's about the same situation as about 12 years ago when Windows 95 was introduced and everyone wanted to move to the new WIN32 system, abandoning the old WIN3.1 environment. Still, WIN3.1 applications were maintained up until the 21th century and even the old MS-DOS is still in use. Which leads to the problem of deciding what systems you should support.
Then again, the only reason to build new compilers is only to support new techniques. The Delphi compiler is already very complete at this moment. You don't have to upgrade if you only need to support today's systems. So if it weren't for any new techniques and operating systems then Borland would have no need to create new upgrades...

But we have to deal with new techniques. Basically, Borland has no choice but to follow these techniques. Their adventures with Kylix for the Linux platform failed since many Linux developers weren't even interested in Kylix. (Not unless it was free.) The Linux market is a tough one since you can't make much profit from selling Linux software. Linux is more a service-oriented market where you can make profits by providing services to Linux users. Give software for free but let them pay for any services...

Maybe Borland should develop their own operating system instead. But that would be a completely different market and reasonable challenging too. And the competition is extremely tough.

Then again, in my opinion most Delphi developers are using Delphi to develop software for current and older systems. Those who want to follow the latest developments have already discovered that they'll need Visual Studio for this. It's no suprise that many authors of good Delphi books in the past have moved to focusing on the Microsoft products now, since Borland is unable to keep up with newest developments. And Borland will never be able to keep up with Microsoft anyways.

So basically, in the IT world, every new technique starts with Visual Studio developers who start writing the first products. Once the technique has become more common, Borland Developers will start using the technique too, but often once these techniques are one or two years old and the software market started to demand software to support these new techniques.

Btw, for the component market, the .NET platform is much more interesting than the old WIN32 platform. Basically, in the .NET platform their components will be available for many different development systems and thus they would have both Microsoft developers as Borland developers buying their products. Since we're already shifting to component-based development with .NET, I don't think this can be stopped. Thus, if developers want to do component-based development, they don't have to rely upon Delphi as they used to do for the last decennium. They can use .NET and with this they often move to Visual Studio...

I don't think Borland will ever be able to get it's share of the market back, no matter which direction they will be going. On the Windows platform, Microsoft happens to be the leader. On the Linux platform, free open-source products will kick out any commercial product unless the commercial products offers a lot of additional value. But Kylix just isn't good enough for the Linux users, otherwise they would have embraced it years ago.

The compiler market tends to be a difficult one. You can't really provide many services for your compilers since many users of your product are experienced enough themselves. Most of the services these users need are basically technique-based anyways so I don't think Borland will make a lot of profit from providing services. The only service they could provide is when they would develop their own components for Delphi and sell those components. Maybe Borland could be used as a source for developers who can be outsourced to companies who are in need of developers. And of course they could offer training and education for their compilers and the related techniques. If Borland would start such a market then they might make a profit from this. But it would mean that Borland should then focus itself strongly to the IDE market, which is something they're not planning to do. Borland needs it's resources for other products so technically, it's time that another company starts focusing on the IDE market, preferably with a lot of experience in providing additional services.

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