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December 1, 1998

ACORN PLANS TO SPIN-OFF NEW SOFTWARE SUBSIDIARY

By CBR Staff Writer

Acorn Group Plc is considering a plan to spin off its RISC OS as a separate company following the spin-off of its ARM Holdings Plc, which subsequently became a much larger and more successful company than its parent. A steering group has been formed with some of the main Acorn distributors and developers to plot out the shape of the new organization. UK-based Acorn is tight-lipped on developments and says it is early days yet. In September, Acorn dropped plans to launch a new version of its proprietary PC, the RISC PC 2, though it said it would continue to supply the existing range. The move, part of a huge cutback by the company, followed a slump in sales of machines whose main customers have been in the education market. Nevertheless, Acorn still has a dedicated band of users, both in the UK and in Europe, and several companies approached it to take over production of RISC PC2 machines. Acorn has now changed tack and is talking of licensing the OS to any interested parties.

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