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Be sacks 28 staff

Relying on a takeover now sales team's gone?

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Ailing alternative operating system developer Be is ridding itself of a third of its workforce, a week after reporting apparently improved quarterly results.

Some 28 staff will be sent pink slips. Workers being give the old heave-ho include what's left of Be's sales and marketing teams, and some admin and engineering positions.

Be sacked 27 staff - a quarter of the workforce - back in April, part of a plan to rein in its overheads following a shift away from its desktop BeOS to the Net appliance-oriented BeIA operating system, hoping to make more money licensing the OS then they did selling it as a boxed product. That plan has largely failed, with the one notable exception of Sony, which has licensed BeIA for its eVilla information appliance.

Indeed, Be's most recent results showed a leap in revenue believed to be almost solely down to work done for Sony getting the OS to work on the eVilla hardware.

We noted then that if Be can't find other companies to join Sony it will be in trouble, and this week's job cuts suggest we might be right. The sackings leave Be pared right down to product development staff and a handful of admin folks. Without sales and marketing people, the company can do little to promote its appliance OS, suggesting that its principals have given up on the company as a going concern and are making it a better candidate for takeover. ®

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