IBM informed its 100-odd Taligent staff two days ago that the subsidiary will be closed by the end of this year in an effort to increase efficiency and cut costs.
The ill-fated organisation started life about six years ago as a joint venture between IBM, Apple, and later Hewlett-Packard (HP), to develop Pink, an object oriented version of the Mac operating system.
When IBM and Apple later hit financial troubles, the development effort was scaled down to focus on object oriented development frameworks, but the alliance finally collapsed in February 1996 when HP and Apple withdrew funding and Taligent was absorbed into IBM.
An IBM spokeswoman confirmed that the Taligent laboratory in Cupertino, California would be closed by the end of the year, although the building could be used for other purposes. She added that the majority of personnel, mainly software engineers, would be relocated to IBM?s Santa Teresa laboratories.
Those with Java skills, however, are likely to be redeployed to the Java tuning and porting centre jointly set up by Big Blue, Netscape and Sun. Each member is expected to contribute between 20 and 40 staff.
A further 20 non-software developers will ?have opportunities for employment elsewhere in IBM?, although redeployment will not be automatic.
?We?re completing the transition of Taligent into IBM to increase development efficiencies and reduce costs. I would like to emphasise that the work going on at Taligent is integral to IBM, which is why we?re doing this - it allows us to leverage their Java skills. Taligent has contributed significant technology to IBM, especially in Visual Age for Java and C++, and this makes good business sense,? the spokeswoman added.
The Taligent brand is unlikely to be used by IBM in future development projects or products.
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