>>>As for C++, Microsoft Visual C++ almost essentially|
dominates the C++ market for Windows. How did
that happen when Borland used to be the only C++
package on the market?<<<
I think it went like this: Borland used to have one guy who was a real compiler genius. He made the IDE for C++ famous, wrote a great fast compiler and so on.
Illustrative of the fact that being a star developer doesn't mean you're not going to get screwed by the political types in your department, he 'got caught in the layoff.'
I got a chance to ream the new C++ team head and the VP of software (since departed) once over dinner about this, but of course that didn't really do any good, as I think they were the ones that wanted to 'shoot the prima donna' in the first place.
Anyway, in reference to your comparisons to Symantec and Microsoft competitive compilers, I believe this guy first went to Symantec, and then to Microsoft, where he did the Win32 compiler version several years ago that was a such a major improvement. (This is all according to industry scuttlebut and trade rag gossip columns, plus what I was able to extract from those guys over dinner, but I can't be sure of all the details. And I don't want to name names. Inprise (still gag on that lousy name) folks feel free to correct this humble student of the software business. Or to name names, for that matter ;-)
Anyhow, because somebody couldn't stand the success, status, untalented table talk (-1 on the schmooze-o-meter, no doubt), and goes-with-the-job-description giant ego of some star developer, now their two prime competitors have products that threaten to put them entirely out of those markets.
All part of the extremely smart 'lets put the geeks back in their boxes' trend now so in vogue everywhere in software development companies.
Hey, if JPL/NASA can do it to Jim (Mr-Saturn-Photos, Mr-Mechanical-Universe) Blinn for similar reasons, Borland can do it to it's most talented developers too, can't it. Who needs these damn programmers anyway?