Palm Buying Be, Inc.
Palm, Inc. and Be Incorporated have just announced that Palm is going to buy the intellectual property and technology assets of Be. Palm is also trying to hire Be's engineering team. The price is $11 million, to be paid in Palm stock, following approval from Be shareholders.
"The technology and people from Be are highly regarded,'' said Carl Yankowski, Palm chief executive officer. "We look forward to them joining forces with our own outstanding engineers on future versions of the Palm OS. This move will help us expand the PalmOS platform into broader markets using their multimedia media and Internet expertise.''
Recently, Be developed an embedded operating system called the BeIA, for Internet appliances. It found only one customer, Sony, who is using it in their iVilla. The company has officially been looking for a buyer for about a month.
Be's real strength is in their experience with multimedia. With Palm's switch to much more powerful ARM based chips for OS 5, they will be making much more multimedia-capable handhelds and Be's expertise will certainly help the development process..
Be Chief Executive Officer Jean-Louis Gassee will stay on for a while to assist Palm in integrating the two companies. "I look forward to working closely with Palm to integrate Be's technology and talent into the Palm Platform Solutions Group,'' he said. "The Be team moving to Palm is enthusiastic about collaborating on so many subjects of mutual strength and devotion -- superior operating system software, attention to end users and the high value our people place on our developer community.''
He also will provide strategic advice related to the anticipated separation of the Palm Platform business from the Solutions Group.
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