Claris to restructure dramatically

Claris to restructure dramatically

Apple Computer's wholly-owned software company, Claris will shut its doors and shed all but one of its products to focus on its top-selling FileMaker Pro database.

FileMaker Pro is the most popular stand-alone database on the Mac platform, and ranks in the top three stand-alone databases for Windows. As a company, Claris has enjoyed 20 consecutive profitable quarters, the only division of Apple to maintain such a record. Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson said that the decision was not financially motivated.

Under the restructure, Claris will change its name to FileMaker, and divest itself of all non-FileMaker products, including ClarisWorks Office and ClarisWorks for Kids. Claris Home Page, a graphical Web site builder, will be incorporated into Filemaker Pro.

As foreshadowed in last week's ARN, Claris' role as distributor of Apple-branded software such as Mac OS will revert to Apple itself. Apple will also take over distribution of the Works products, bundling them in consumer and education Macintoshes, although marketing manager Phil Schiller would not comment on the long-term future of these products.

Approximately 300 Claris staff worldwide will be laid off, including four of the five Claris staff in Australia and, interestingly, 130 people at Claris' manufacturing plant in Ireland.

Apple was not prepared to comment on outsourcing arrangements for FileMaker Pro's manufacturing.

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