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Qualcomm may kill apps to save Eudora

Division said to be saved from sell-off, but various applications will go

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Qualcomm appears to have finally reached a decision on how to bring its Eudora software division back to profitability. According to many company insiders, cited on the MacOS Rumours Web site, who claim the announcement was made via in internal email, Qualcomm will not be selling its Eudora Software division. Instead it will drop a number of applications to focus on the Eudora email application. Suggestions that the company was considering selling off or shutting the division emerged late last month (see Qualcomm to drop Eudora?). Franklin Antonio, Qualcomm's CTO, was quick to deny the rumours. "Eudora division is not closing nor being sold," he told The Register. However, he was far less emphatic about other aspects of the company's plans for Eudora, such as the sale or termination of specific product lines. That suggests the latest details leaking out of Qualcomm are essentially correct. Insiders have alleged that Eudora Planner, the modified version of Now Up-to-date and Now Contact Eudora has been developing following the acquisition of Now Software in November 1997 and which recently began public beta testing, plus Now Synchronise for the Palm platform and one or more Eudora server products have been effectively cancelled. These applications and the staff assigned to them will ideally be handed on to another company. If no buyer can be found -- Qualcomm is said to have set a four to six-week deadline for a deal -- the employees in question will be made redundant. A sell-off wouldn't be without precedent. Last August, Eudora rid itself of the Mac-based Now Utilities to Power On Software. Whatever happens with these products, Eudora looks set to continue developing the Eudora Light and Eudora Pro email applications. The Eudora WebMail free email service should survive too. Both product areas have faced considerable competition from the email components of the leading Web browsers and email services from Internet portals, respectively. Focusing its development efforts on beating that competition may be the Eudora division's only possible survival strategy. ®

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