Start-Ups

Microsoft's Supermarket Sweep

Attention entrepreneurial developers: Steve Ballmer wants to pay you somewhere between $50 million and $1 billion for your company.

Attention entrepreneurial developers: Steve Ballmer wants to pay you somewhere between $50 million and $1 billion for your company. And he will be doing so up to 20 times a year, so there's plenty of chances to cash in.

No one it seems is safe either, as Microsoft will consider open source companies too. "We will buy smaller companies. We will buy smaller companies that make some use of open source software," Ballmer said. "We don't want to discourage people who would talk with us just because they do some open source."

However it wasn't just Microsoft that wanted to spend its money this week, with Oracle making a US$6.66 billion bid for BEA — which BEA then promptly rejected. What Larry Ellison wants, Larry usually gets; we'll keep you updated as to whether this turns into the PeopleSoft saga sequel.

Microsoft has a lot of money and wants to use it to expand — that's pretty obvious. But not as obvious as the survey results from A List Apart this week, or even that segue.

Developers out in the world of Java have been busy little beavers adding more and more scripting languages to the Java Virtual Machine. We caught up with Matt Thompson, director of Sun Developer Network to discuss how Java can be used in conjunction with Ruby, Python and soon-to-be PHP.

Java also showed up in our videos this week with a demonstration of Sun SPOTs. Complete with an ARM processor, an accelerometer, wireless netowrking and eight LEDS; these little guys can be added to virtual reality gloves, which can then be used to take over the mouse and used to interact with the desktop in a fashion seen in Minority Report.

And so, after invoking mental images of Tom Cruise using Photoshop CS2000, I apologise and bid adieu. Enjoy your weekend!

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