To Be Or Not To Be: The Question Has At Long Last Been Answered

Be is no more. The company founded by Appleis former president, Jean Louis Gassée, has sold their assets to Palm, Inc. The company was once a candidate to provide the underpinnings for Appleis next generation operating system after Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock killed Appleis own Copland project. Copland had languished in a quagmire of indecision that was largely built under Mr. Gasséeis stewardship of Appleis development efforts. When Gil Amelio made the decision to halt the project and go outside of Apple for a new OS, Be was the logical candidate. Mr. Gassée held out for too much money, however, and gave Steve Jobs and NeXT Computer enough time to sell themselves to Apple. Thus began Beis inexorable decline. Apple had reportedly offered Be some US$80 to US$100 million, but it was not enough. Today, Beis assets have been bought by Palm for some US$11 million. According to Palm:


Be Incorporated, the creator of the BeIA and BeOS operating systems, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its intellectual property and technology assets to Palm, Inc. The purchase price is $11 million, to be paid in common stock of Palm, which Be currently intends to liquidate as soon as reasonably practicable following the closing of the transaction. Beis board of directors has approved the transaction, and the winding-up of Beis operating business following the closing. The closing of the transaction and the winding-up are subject to the approval of Beis stockholders, and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth calendar quarter of 2001.

Be will be retaining certain rights, assets and liabilities in connection with the transaction. The retained rights and assets include Beis cash and cash equivalents, receivables, certain contractual rights, and rights to assert and bring certain claims and causes of action, including under antitrust laws.