`The Industry Needs An Alternative' But Will It Be Novell?

As December's tentative merger talks between Borland and Lotus demonstrate, software makers are getting a bit desperate in their attempts to find ways to offset the overwhelming power of Microsoft. The talks came to nothing. But the fact that they took place at all says a lot. Lotus Development Corp. and Borland International Inc. are bitter foes in the spreadsheet market, and their strong-willed chief executives have displayed only contempt for one another. These days, it seems, people will go to extremes to create a new industry infrastructure as long as Bill Gates isn't the chief architect.

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