Microsoft and UGS Converge

There are some amazing stories out right now. And even though I expected something like this, the announcement is still exciting. From the Desktop Engineering website comes the press announcement on UGS (Link):

Microsoft Corp. and UGS Corp., a leading global provider of product life-cycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced a multiyear, global strategic alliance to “change the game” of how companies create innovative products by delivering the full suite of UGS® software solutions on the Microsoft® platform.

The alliance will help UGS deliver a version of the full suite of its PLM technology currently used by more than two million users — including digital life-cycle management — on the Microsoft platform. The full solution empowers manufacturers with the ability to create and manage all their product data in a easy to use and security-enhanced environment, while allowing global team members, customers, industry partners and vendors to participate in the creative process. The end result is that customers are able to be more innovative to drive profitability by getting products to market faster.

“Microsoft and UGS are transforming how manufacturers manage product data from concept to retirement,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “UGS’ rich technology on the Microsoft platform offers PLM software customers low cost of ownership. It’s a uniquely powerful set of tools to help employees and external creative teams collaborate on innovative products that meet the demands of their customers.”

UGS and Microsoft’s ongoing relationship is further evidence of how important industry partners are to Microsoft’s “People-Ready” business vision. Microsoft and UGS are providing solutions to manufacturers that empower employees to collaborate, expedite decision-making and increase efficiencies. By building on existing technology investments from Microsoft and leveraging the deep PLM knowledge and expertise of UGS, customers win.

As manufacturers realize the competitive advantage of collaborative PLM solutions — including computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) — the growth of the market continues to trend upward. In fact, the PLM market is expected to show a five-year compound annual growth rate of 9 percent, growing from $9.7 billion to $15 billion according to a recent AMR Research report, “The Product Lifecycle Management Applications Report, 2004–2009.”

What I’m wondering now is: Microsoft bought Groove (buried in this post – reLink) which was used by UGS competitor PTC. So what have I read about PTC lately that resolves this conflict? Seems I read something. However, my lack of retention suggests it wasn’t overly significant (at the time). So is it significant now? Or is PTC looking to make a move and partner with someone else? Sun? Google? And what is Dassault doing?