TIBCO Software has done extremely well since it came into existence from its origin as as Teknekron.
Initially an EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) company, it quickly expanded to take on challenges such as Workflow, Business Process Management (BPM) and service-oriented architecture (SOA).
More recently it added Business Intelligence and Analysis to its portfolio, strenghtened by the acquisition of Spotfire last year. TIBCO products are well-respected, and it has a strong and loyal customer base.
But with BEA going, and webMethods being taken out by Software AG, it is more or less alone as a pure-play middleware player left.
In addition, anyone looking at the results for its 2007 fiscal year (ended Nov 30th 2007) will immediately realize that it is an attractive target.
The question isn't really whether TIBCO will be bought, but by whom.
Names being kicked about include all the usual suspects - IBM, Oracle, SAP....but I reckon that HP might snatch the prize.
It missed out on BEA, but perhaps on reflection TIBCO is a closer match to its needs.