Software house Ontos has been forced to withdraw from the European market because it has no product to sell.
It moved its Unix-based middleware product into maintenance in September 1997, but has admitted it does not expect the last version of NT to appear until May.
Jay Lyons, Ontos chief operating officer, said: 'The focus of the company will be on a new platform and new markets. We want to gain mind share and market share before we enter Europe again. Our future approach will be via third-party distributors, but not until the start of 1999 because we want to gain credibility first.'
He admitted: 'Our sales organisations in the UK and Germany were waiting patiently for over a year to supply product, but we've now closed them, although they still exist as legal entities.'
The organisation was established 10 years ago as an object database supplier, but became a middleware vendor about three years ago. Its Unix product, for Sun's Solaris operating system, enabled object-oriented applications to access data stored in relational databases.
The NT version has been rewritten, following Ontos decision last summer to axe its development team of up to 60.
It has since hired about 20 additional developers to undertake the project, but has been surviving on venture capital funding from New York-based Wolfensohn Partners ever since. Ontos has 30 personnel employed in the US, after axing its three UK-based and two German staff, but has hired Stephen Ford as vice president of sales.
Peter Chaplin, former managing director of Ontos UK, said: 'I have left Ontos to set up a new company. Ontos is developing a new range of products that weren't going to be available until later in the year, so it didn't seem sensible to wait until then.'
He added he was setting up a company, Stepsoft, to focus on data navigation but may work with Ontos in the future.
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