View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
February 5, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

French electronics and telecommunications heavyweight Matra SA has called it a day in computers and late last week closed down its Matra Datasysteme subsidiary. The decision is very bad news for Encore Computer Corp, just getting onto its feet after a very difficult genesis, because Matra was manufacturing the Encore Multimax parallel Unix machines under licence. The move also kicks Norsk Data AS when it is very much down because although it had been so disappointed with Matra’s achievements in marketing its machines in Southern Europe that it scaled back the agreement to a non-exclusive one for France only last year, it still represented significant business for the Norwegian – although work that Matra had been doing incorporating Nord minis into military workstations for Thomson CSF is likely to continue. Also hurt is Sun Microsystems, which had large OEM contracts with Matra – said last year to be one of the French company’s areas of weak performance. The shut down is also a disappointment for a string of software companies, including Micro Focus Plc and Relational Technology Inc, which had hoped to do substantial business from sales of Matra’s Unix systems. Also affected are several European research ventures in which Matra was a partner. The future of Matra’s innovative artificial intelligence Unix server, built around its proprietary 1MLIPS Drake inference processor (CI No 877) is now in doubt. Storm cones were first hoist over the company back in June, when president Charles Picasso resigned amid gossip that times were hard at the company (CI No 952). Matra had recorded a profit of $800,000 on sales of $85m in 1987, and at mid-year was still hoping to make a bigger profit on flat sales. But in the event, sales for 1988 plunged 36% to $53m. Employment at the company – 400 in 1987 – was greatly reduced last year by the sale of the factory making special function terminals in Colmer, Alsace, to ETC SA, and was down to 140 at closure. Matra reckons its installed base at 1,500 workstations and 80 systems, and has retained Thomson CSF’s new Thomainfor third party maintenance operation to look after its customers; Agence France Presse re ports that the 35 support staff at Matra will be offered jobs by Thomainfor, and the other 105 employees will be offered jobs in other parts of the Matra group.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.