Apple has finally bitten the bullet and decided to swallow up most of the products in its Claris software arm, drop the brand name and lay off 300 employees.
There has been speculation for some years that Apple wanted to dump its software arm as it felt that software development was not its core business.
Three years ago, there were rumours Claris had been offered to its management team as a buyout but this never materialised.
According to the latest Silicon Valley rumours, the decision was seen as a compromise by Apple after it proved unable to offload FileMaker Pro onto another company. Both Oracle and Microsoft are said to have been offered the chance to buy Claris.
Under the guise of Filemaker, the former Claris operation will retain its database package FileMaker Pro. Retail versions of Mac OS 8 and the ClarisWorks productivity suite will be absorbed into Apple. About 300 people will be made redundant.
Fred Anderson, chief financial officer at Apple, said: 'Apple will be responsible for all Apple-branded software. It will also develop, distribute and support the award-winning ClarisWorks software.'
Claris was founded in 1987 as an Apple software subsidiary. Plans to take it public in 1990 were halted by Apple management at the time. The subsidiary has been one of the few profitable arms of Apple in recent years, with sales of $91.1 million in the final quarter last year.
According to Claris, sales of FileMaker Pro reached $73 million during 1997 and hit $24 million in the most recent quarter ended 26 December 1997.
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