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Evasive Envivid nukes site, goes silent

Famous Five press-release a Transmeta appliance, then remove it

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Envivid, which yesterday claimed to be partnering with web appliance manufacturer Frontpath to produce a Transmeta BeOS appliance, today removed references to Frontpath from its web site, and ducked any further questions by claiming it was "entering into a quiet period".

All but the front page of the Envivid website has been pulled, including the eQ, Corporate, Feedback, Media Center and Partner sections.

When we spoke to S3 spin-off Frontpath - which really does have a Transmeta appliance, and has been working with Transmeta for a year -we were told that the people behind Envivid (and its previous incarnation( Kosyn Communications) had previously made false claims to have a partnership with the company.

But no such partnership exists, and Envivid used pirated Frontpath's images of its ProGear appliance from its web site, Frontpath claimed. And sources at Transmeta, which devotes considerable resources to working closely with OEM partners, said they'd never heard of Envivid.

In an email addressed to The Register, a B Marc Ferguson of Envivid acknowledges that the company isn't a Frontpath or Transmeta partner after all.

"Specific information on the web site was posted in a premature manner, and has since been removed," he adds. He said another product announcement would be made on 17 November.

Curiously, he didn't leave any more contact information. Callers to the Envivid office (as declared in its domain name registration entry) get a voice message thanking them for their interest in Kosyn Communications. Kosyn changed its name to Envivid in August.

One Emily Armstrong, who'd been on flak duty for Kosyn/Envivid, left the company yesterday. In a posting to BeNews, she said family and health commitments meant she could no longer afford to devote ten per cent of her time to Envivid.

So let's get this right. Three weeks before its debut product launch, a manufacturer devotes ten per cent of man time to dealing with press and analysts?

The surreal email we received also notes: "Thus begins our self-imposed quiet period. I hope you realize our motivation for this: our goal is to release a successful, quality product. We feel this is the best way to do so."

But "quiet period" is a phrase that applies to public companies shortly before earnings announcements. Envivid isn't a public company, and claiming to be in "a quiet period" when confronted by journalists and the Be community ought to speak volumes about the company's trustworthiness. ®

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