Parcplace-Digitalk is refocusing its business away from the Smalltalk object language to concentrate on Java and is reducing the size of its US operations to cut operational costs.
On 7 August, the company is expected to change its name to Objectshare, the 15 person Java start-up it acquired for $3 million in July 1996, and to announce that it will make up to one-third of its 150 staff redundant.
It is also due to announce worse than expected first quarter financial results, which have prompted the rationalisation.
Although Parcplace-Digitalk refused to comment, US reports said the firm did not intend to abandon its installed base completely, but ?hoped? to get new Smalltalk products to market in future.
The firm reportedly admitted that product sales, especially Smalltalk-based offerings, declined in each quarter of fiscal 1997 because users were reluctant to make new or additional investments in the language in case Java emerged as the market leader.
As a result, after releasing year end losses of $22.48 million, on revenues of $37.28 million earlier this year, Bill Lyons, chief executive and other senior managers left the company.
They have since been replaced by former Simulation Science?s Eugene Goda as chief executive, Ron Clear as head of finance and Jim Smith as vice president of worldwide sales.
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