Feeds

Geoworks throws in towel and puts GEOS up for sale

So farewell then...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Wireless software pioneer Geoworks Corp has thrown in the towel, giving up hope of developing its AirBoss application platform technology and has put it up for sale along with the source code for its GEOS and GEOS-SC operating systems.

The Alameda, California-based company said the wireless infrastructure market is "very weak" and, while it will eventually be significant as enterprises adopt mobile data applications, Geoworks simply does not have the financial resources to support development of the AirBoss platform and wait for the market to emerge.

The company, a pioneer in the development of operating systems for handheld devices, wants to sell the AirBoss team and transfer the technology to a company "that has the resources to weather current market conditions." But president and CEO Dave Grannan warned: "Of course, we cannot guarantee that we can find an appropriate buyer."

The company's greatest moment of fame came in 2000 when it claimed much of the intellectual property behind WAP, and demanded license fees from developers. However, this fizzled out when it reached a settlement with Openwave Systems Inc in January 2001.

Geoworks is a sad example of an organization that was ahead of its time in that it saw the arrival of portable devices ahead of the pack but its early appearance meant that it OS lacked the "future proofness" of later software. Lacking the muscle of Microsoft or the advanced features of Symbian's OS, the writing was on the wall when Nokia dumped GEOS in favor of Symbian.

Geoworks' capitulation was inevitable given pitiful and declining revenue and losses that have brought the company to its knees. In the third quarter to December 31, it recorded a net loss of $13.9m, up from a loss of $7.1m on revenue of $4m, down from $4.2m. For the nine months the loss was $41.6m, up from a loss of $14.8m on revenue of $9.2m, down from $11.7m.

To reduce the cash burn, it will lay off 40 people, or 45 per cent of its workforce, from the AirBoss and headquarters staff and will move its headquarters to smaller premises. For the future it plans to continue as a professional services firm, though this produced only $1.7m of revenue in the last quarter, or 43.2 per cent of the total and was down on the $2.1m a year earlier.

AirBoss, which offers support for the RIM, Palm, Pocket PC, Windows CE and Windows 98.2000/NT platforms, has wider support, but is a long way from being a money-spinner. Ironically Geoworks' web site warns that the industry is constantly abuzz with news of start-ups and promising technology. "But when you're staking your business on a strategic initiative like mobile communications, there is no room for risk. Geoworks has staying power," it says.

© Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google opens Inbox – email for people too stupid to use email
Print this article out and give it to someone techy if you get stuck
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.