origins of Borland name

Mark Kuharich (
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 09:16:04 -0700

I believe "Borland" means "deep forest" which is typical of Scotts
Valley, CA
take care,
Mark Kuharich
JavaBeans developer, Application Methods

Many of you have wondered where the name Borland came from. I've heard
several stories over the years. Monday I sent an email message to my
old boss, Philippe Kahn CEO and Chairman of Starfish Software
(, asking him for the definitive answer. Here is his

"The first name for the company was not Borland. It was MIT. The acronym
MIT stood for "Market In Time". I started that company when I arrived in
the US as an engineer. MIT developed tools and provided services for
computer hardware developers in Silicon Valley who wanted to "Be on the
Market In Time". I immediately signed up several customers because of my
credentials for the 1973 Micral (Check out the Computer Museum website
at The Micral is now recognized as the first ever
PC and in
1982/83 had good fame among hardware makers). This gave me an
opportunity to sign-up customers such as Apple, Osborne and be with HP
(For a few days until they realized that I had come with a
tourist visa)."

"MIT worked well in Silicon Valley because it also was close to the
initials of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
( and that my customers were typically VP of
Engineering for Silicon Valley companies who liked the acronym. I signed
up a few customers who provided tools, including a small outfit in
Ireland called Borland. They went bankrupt and owed our company (we had
3 people by then) about $15,000. (Which was quite a bit for us at the
time). In May 1983 I received a letter from MIT in Cambridge asking me
whether I could change the name of the company. After
discussing it with our lawyers, they advised that it would be the right
thing to do. I then asked my bankrupt customers whether I could bid for
the name "Borland" and its use in the US. We came to agreement that we
would do this in exchange for the money that was owed to us."

So the first name of Borland was MIT and it was in the business of being
a provider of technology and Intellectual Property development services
to Silicon Valley companies. We did well. It allowed us to finance the
development and launch of both Turbo Pascal and Sidekick."

Thank you, Philippe, for the history lesson and all that you have done
and are continuing to do for our industry.


David Intersimone
Director, Developer Relations
INPRISE Corporation, Developers of Borland and Visibroker Products