Apple is to bring the bulk of Claris's software lines in-house. The move effectively fillets Apple's software subsidiary Claris, leaving it to focus on the FileMaker Pro database client for Macintosh and Windows.
Claris will hand over responsibilities for Mac OS, ClarisWorks, ClarisDraw, ClarisImpact, Claris Em@iler and ClarisOrganizer, but maintain the FileMaker Pro line and Home Page Web authoring tool that has tight hooks into the database.
Reflecting that huge switch, Claris will change its name to FileMaker, Inc. and lay off 300 staff worldwide. The FileMaker, Inc. CEO will be former Claris president Dominique Goupil.
James Silcock, marketing manager for Claris UK and Ireland, said Apple had made the move to better enable it to focus on its education and pre-press core market sectors.
"Bringing back the OS and key applications into the fold fits that remit," he said. "We're now free to focus on the FileMaker Pro business which still makes us about a $90 million company."
FileMaker Pro brought in about $24 million in revenues for the October-December 1997 quarter, and Silcock claimed licensing and retail sales are enjoying huge growth in the UK and Europe.
Silcock said he did not yet know how many of the Claris International 54 staff or 18 UK and Ireland staff based in Bourne End, Bucks. will be affected.
He also denied reports that Claris has been attempting to sell off its FileMaker Pro business to Microsoft or Oracle.
"People have been waiting for some kind of announcement so they make up the rumours that suit them."