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Be Palms $1.135m in Q3 revenue

OS supplier's future to be decided 12 November

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With Be's anticipated acquisition by Palm casting such a shadow over the operating system developer for the last couple of months, you wouldn't expect the company to have made much money during its most recently completed quarter, and you'd be right - it didn't.

Be's accounts for the three months to 30 September record revenues of $1.135 million, but since that's "primarily attributable" to "revenue-related consulting services" charged to Palm, we're not sure it counts. Nevertheless, it makes Q3 2001 Be's best so far and accounts for 72 per cent of the money the company made during the past nine months.

Charging Palm over a million dollars for its pre-acquisition due diligence is an impressive business model. Essentially, its funding to keep Be running in the period before shareholders meet to decide whether to accept the Be board's recommendation and vote for Palm's acquisition of Be's assets and the liquidation of what's left.

That meeting will take place on 12 November.

Be also reported it lost nine cents a share for the period, down from last quarter's ten cents a share and the year-ago quarter's 12 cents a share. Like the revenue figure, these numbers are essentially meaningless given that Be is likely to be wound down.

Or is it? Be's management is stressing the need to vote for both resolutions - the sale and, separately, the dissolution - which suggests that they fear shareholder apathy will kill the deal. We can't see stakeholders getting much value out of their shares if the Palm deal doesn't go ahead, but enough users are cross about the imminent demise of the Be OS, that they might just try and sabotage the deal.

Perhaps then Palm should decide what it's going to do with BeOS - and say so publicly. Our vote goes to the folk who want to open source it all. ®

Related Link

The official Save BeOS Petition can be found here (though, like us, you may have a job getting onto it)

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