Acorn squeezed out of personal computer market
Friday 18 September 1998
The Cambridge-based company has scrapped the development of its new Risc 2 computer, effectively allowing the Acorn brand of PCs to wither and die. A third of its 175-strong workforce will be made redundant as a result.
Acorn said it would continue to supply and support its existing product range, which includes thousands of PCs in school classrooms around the country. However, experts said the company's decision not to develop new machines meant the brand would eventually disappear.
The move is part of a restructuring that will see Acorn concentrate on supplying products for the fast-expanding digital television market.
Stan Boland, Acorn's chief executive, said: "Today's announcement marks a watershed in Acorn's history.
"The projected return on the Risc 2 project was pretty marginal and we would have had to invest more to get it. Given that we have a limited number of investment dollars we decided to focus on digital television."
Mr Boland said that 75 per cent of homes would have digital set-top box decoders or television sets by 2006. In order to handle interactive applications such as home shopping and banking, those boxes would require massive computing power.
Acorn plans to develop powerful, efficient processors for set-top boxes by linking up with semiconductor manufacturers and consumer electronics companies.
The group is spending pounds 1m on making 60 of its non-engineering staff redundant and writing off surplus stock. A further 15 employees will be transferred to Xemplar, Acorn's joint venture with US computer maker Apple.
The move leaves Acorn with a workforce of around 100.
Mr Boland said the company was still working on ways to return its stake in ARM, the computer chip design company that was floated on the London and Nasdaq exchanges earlier this year, to shareholders without incurring a huge tax bill. Acorn hopes to put proposals to shareholders before year- end.
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
- 4 California man Christopher Viatafa surrenders to police after googling own name and discovering himself listed as ‘most wanted’
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £43000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global lea...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...