Microsoft big wigs join BEA as part of CrossGain acquisition

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News: Microsoft big wigs join BEA as part of CrossGain acquisition

  1. BEA has announced that it will acquire privately held Crossgain Corp., a startup staffed by many former Microsoft executives and developers, including Tod Nielsen, a 12-year Microsoft veteran and former vice president and Adam Bosworth, a 10-year Microsoft evangelist responsible for driving the database and XML efforts within Microsoft.

    CrossGains original press release reports that its purpose was to "enable companies to derive increased business value by providing a software services framework that makes it easy to build and automate business processes, without having to worry about the infrastructure complexities required to build today's web applications. The software service, using XML technology as a foundation, promises the ability to quickly build and deploy inter and intra-company business logic"

    Hmmm, smells like Web Services to me! Infact, in a Microsoft article entitled Tod Nielsen Helps Microsoft Usher in a New Era of Internet Computing, it turns out that Neilsons group was working on just that since 1999. Another article entitled Remarks by Tod Nielsen Spring Comdex/Windows World 2000 fully clarifies this.

    CrossGains Web Services framework has been indevelopment for some time, but was not yet shipping at the time of this acquisition. Perhaps there work will become part of BEA's product line?

    Read BEA to acquire Crossgain.

    Read a June/July 2001 interview with Adam Bosworth.

    CrossGains original launch press release:
    ------------------------------------------
    Benchmark Capital and Barksdale Group Invest 10 Million Dollars in Crossgain, A Company Formed by Top Ex-Microsoft Executives and Engineers

    REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 11 -- Crossgain (www.crossgain.com <http://www.crossgain.com>), a Redmond-based start-up company founded by former Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) executives and software engineers, today announced that Benchmark Capital and The Barksdale Group have invested $10 million dollars in the company. Tod Nielsen, a 12-year Microsoft veteran and former vice president responsible for Microsoft's relationship with the software development community, will serve as chief executive officer. Adam Bosworth, a 10-year Microsoft technical visionary responsible for driving the database and XML efforts within Microsoft as well as within various industry standards committees, will serve as chairman and chief technology officer. Bosworth also helped build core parts of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, and Internet Information Server (IIS) during his tenure at Microsoft. Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital will join Nielsen and Bosworth on the company's board of directors.

    Crossgain was founded in February 2000 by Adam Bosworth and Rod Chavez, a former Microsoft product unit manager for XML and development manager for the core HTML engine in Internet Explorer Versions 4 and 5. Since February, the two co-founders have hired over 40 employees, including a number of leading engineers and top management talent from Microsoft, IBM, Go2Net, Borland, INRIA, and Mitre. This experienced team has played key roles in shipping some of the most widely deployed software products and services for both Internet, enterprise and desktop platforms including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Internet Information Server (IIS), Windows, Office, SQL Server, Access, Exchange, Visual Basic, XML, IBM's DB2, and Borland's Quattro Pro.
    "Crossgain has assembled an enterprise class management and technical team with an incredible track record of success," said Bill Gurley, general partner, Benchmark Capital. "Crossgain's core team not only created a number of key Microsoft technologies over the years, but they also shipped products that brought Microsoft over $6 billion in revenue. Benchmark chose to invest because we believe this talented team has a first-mover advantage and they understand what it takes to create world-class products and services."

    "The Barksdale Group places an enormous premium on the quality, vision and commitment of management and technical teams. Crossgain's team has demonstrated great foresight with their early pioneering work on XML technologies and are committed to providing open software solutions," said Jim Barksdale, partner, The Barksdale Group. "We're delighted to be part of growing a company that we believe will pioneer the software services business."

    Crossgain enables companies to derive increased business value by providing a software services framework that makes it easy to build and automate business processes, without having to worry about the infrastructure complexities required to build today's web applications. The software service, using XML technology as a foundation, promises the ability to quickly build and deploy inter and intra-company business logic. Crossgain's software service is currently entering alpha testing and the company expects to begin delivering its service early next year.

    "A key to success for Internet infrastructure companies is their ability to secure support from the software developer community," Tod Nielsen, CEO of Crossgain. "We are investing significantly in this area to ensure that we are providing the opportunities, services, and support for software developers to be incredibly successful working with Crossgain long term."

    Crossgain has assembled a prominent business and technical advisory board to help grow its business rapidly. The business advisory team is composed of industry executives and luminaries from companies such as Merrill Lynch, Palm Computing, and Expedia.com. The technical advisory board consists of researchers from Oregon Graduate Institute, Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin.

    About Crossgain
    Crossgain is privately held, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, and currently has over 40 employees. For more information, visit the company's website at www.crossgain.com <http://www.crossgain.com>, send email to info at crossgain dot com <mailto:info at crossgain dot com> or call 425-641-9385.


  2. Hey, maybe this means that the BEA web services / SOAP stuff will start to work with MS a bit better than it does now! ;^D This looks like a good move. I'm interested in seeing what a combination of slick MS & BEA guys turn out, compared to IBM's quasi-open-source approach. And guess this didn't come cheap, so it indicates a commitment to the whole web services arena.
  3. Probably a good move by BEA, assuming they can successfully integrate the CrossGain culture and products. Further evidence that they believe continued leadership in the J2EE market depends on services/products sold on top of Weblogic, as the J2EE App Server itself becomes something of a commodity.
    One clarification, however -- it seems BEA is buying the CrossGain team minus its founders and top executives. That's what the following quote from the referenced article "BEA to Acquire CrossGain" seems to indicate:
     
    "In addition to the 20 layoffs, both Bosworth and Chavez resigned, as did CEO Tod Nielsen, another well-known former Microsoft manager, who left the software giant last June."
  4. Jim,

    Actually they did, check out the following quote from a recent article on infoworld on the subject:

    "Among the 28 employees BEA obtains from Redmond, Wash.-based Crossgain are CEO and former Microsoft executive Tod Nielsen and XML guru Adam Bosworth.

    Other than to confirm that BEA will employ both, officials declined to comment on the title or role either individual will play moving forward."

    http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/07/10/010710hnbeacross.xml.

    Also, the June/July interview with Adam Bosworth confirms that he only left CrossGain for 2 months, then returned as CTO.