`Ashton Tate Is Not An Active Force Anymore'

It's the latest example of the old business maxim: Grow or die. In 1988, Ashton-Tate Corp. wasa $307 million-a-year company, renowned for its dBase software, which stores and manages information on personal computers. Borland International Inc., also a software maker, was just one-third its size. But then, the bigger company stumbled in getting new products to market, sales plummeted, and Borland moved in to take advantage. Borland began cutting into Ashton-Tate's lead, then caught up in size. Just this May, Borland's chairman and founder, Philippe Kahn, proclaimed that "Ashton-Tate is not an active force anymore."

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