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February 1, 1998

DIGITAL’S TRACEPOINT SPIN-OFF IS CASUALTY OF COMPAQ DEAL

By CBR Staff Writer

Even as Compaq Computer Corp and Digital Equipment Corp were putting their deal to bed, TracePoint Technology Inc, a Digital company was closing its doors for the last time. If not one of the first casualties of the new alliance, the demise of TracePoint may have been the last of Digital’s ‘slash and burn’ strategy which saw it divest itself of any business it could possibly describe as non-core – no doubt, like most brides to be, to slim down before its marriage. TracePoint, a developer of tools for C and C++ programmers developing for Windows 95 and NT, was spun out of Digital only last year (CI No 3,104), and apparently shut down very abruptly when Digital, its majority shareholder, pulled the plug on January 14. A sorry message on the company’s web site told developers they could continue to buy TracePoint products until the end of January, but with ‘no expressed or implied warranty’ and no tech support. Insiders say the technology was solid, but the sales effort failed with Microsoft Corp adding to its woes by poaching TracePoint’s chief technology officer.

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