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September 2, 2011

Ghost of Borland hangs over Embarcadero FireMonkey launch

Firm says new platform helps firms with apps for Windows, Mac or iOS

By Jason Stamper

Embarcadero Technologies

Embarcadero Technologies, the firm that bought the iconic Borland’s CodeGear development tools division back in 2008, announced the launch of FireMonkey. It said the new technology is the first CPU- and GPU-powered business application platform that enables developers to create visually-engaging, native applications for Windows, Mac and mobile (iOS).

"FireMonkey allows developers to rapidly build rich HD and 3D applications with fast native performance, animation, image effects, enterprise-class database connectivity and interactive data visualisation, and build to Amazon and Azure cloud services," the company claimed.

In something of a departure from the often bland comments in press releases of this kind, Michael Swindell, SVP of marketing and products for Embarcadero Technologies said: "In the Chinese zodiac, the Fire Monkey appeals to intelligence, invention and creativity; these are the same namesake qualities behind the FireMonkey application platform. FireMonkey is designed for a new generation of business software, giving users the ultra-rich experience of RIA platforms, the performance of native code, enterprise-class connectivity and the flexibility to run on the devices businesses care about – Windows, Mac and mobile."

The firm noted that ‘bring your own devices’ or ‘BYOD’ policies are creating high demand and developer opportunities for business applications scaling across multiple platforms. Using FireMonkey, developers can easily write applications compiling natively to Windows, Mac and iOS, saving significant time and resources, according to the firm.

Borland’s Delphi was one of the first technologies to successfully enable cross-platform development for either Windows or Linux, before Borland hit hard times and spun its development tools off as CodeGear. That was snapped up by Embarcadero in 2008 for around $26m, despite the division reportedly originally being touted around at up to $150m. Embarcadero itself was bought by Thoma Cressey Equity Partners in 2006 for $234m.

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Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices around the world.

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