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September 16, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:53pm

SPYGLASS BATTLES THE HYPE OVER SUN’S PERSONALJAVA

By CBR Staff Writer

The next year looks like a crucial one for Spyglass Inc, as it moves to focus almost exclusively on web-enabling non-PC devices, a market in which it faces stiff competition from players like Microsoft Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc and Oracle Corp. In 1996 desktop products accounted for 100% of its total revenue; non PC devices now make up 55% of the total and the company sees this growing to 95% in 1998. Spyglass says it expects to see between 40 and 90 million additional devices connected to the internet before the year 2000. European managing director, David Harris- Evans, claims the company’s poor figures, a $5.5m loss this year were expected in the light of the company’s transition, and maintains its plans are still on track. The bulk of revenues should eventually come from distribution licenses, but it may be fiscal year 1999 before that happens, and until then Spyglass will have to rely on pulling in cash from the sales of development kits and maintenance business. It is also looking to expand its professional services business significantly. Harris-Evans maintains Sun has got things the wrong way round in trying to slim-down Java into PersonalJava; claiming the size of the memory footprint still makes it impractical for use in mobile devices. He sees Sun’s recent acquisition of microkernel software house Chorus Systems SA as an attempt to shrink the Java footprint, and claims the move validates Spyglass’s original approach. Nevertheless, he says, one of the company’s greatest challenges over the coming year will be to cut through the hype surrounding Personal Java.

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