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Mobile software company Xtempus has sacked 17 staff at its UK headquarters in London as part of a shift towards gaming and advertising and away from the corporate market.

The staff all come from the corporate arm, a spokesman told us, and will be replaced in number by staff from recent acquisition TalkCast - a marketing company.

Xtempus was created in 1999 by two management consultants, eager to tap into the booming mobile market by developing middleware for phones. They then got ex-COO of Psion Geoffrey Baird on board as CEO. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter obliged them with £10 million in August 2000. One of the founders, Dan Poulsen, left to pursue other interests in November 2000.

However, while the company was looking at three basic parts of the mobile market (network services, corporate market and media & marketing) the failure of WAP, the huge success of SMS and massive consumer uptake has led the company to ditch the corporate arm and concentrate on advertising and build up a gaming arm.

The company would not tell us how much of the £10 million was left but a spokesman did say it wasn't currently looking for any extra funds. The 17 staff made redundant make up around a third of the 50 in the UK. There are another 20 staff in Poland. ®

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