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Intel, four VC firms to invest in Be

November 16, 1998
Web posted at: 1:40 PM ET

by Torsten Busse

(IDG) -- Be Inc. on Monday will announce that it has secured a total of $25 million in financing from four venture capital firms as well as chip giant Intel, a Be executive confirmed Friday.

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While declining to provide details about the investments, the Be officials said the money will go towards the company's market expansion strategy, which among other things, calls for stepping up marketing programs for release four of its multimedia PC operating system.

Among the venture capital firms providing funding for Be are New Enterprise Associates, Menlo Park, Calif., and AVI Capital, Los Altos, Calif.

Be, which earlier this week announced version 4 of the multimedia BeOS for Pentium and PowerPC processors is currently negotiating bundling agreements with top PC manufacturers. The BeOS is not intended to compete with Microsoft's Windows operating system, but rather coexists with Windows under a dual boot-up and dual operating systems strategy.

To that end the Hitachi on Wednesday announced that it will preinstall the Japanese version of the BeOS R4.0J as well as Windows 98 on three of its new multiboot environment desktop Flora Prius 330J PCs, due to ship in December in Japan.

Be expects to announce soon similar bundling agreements with leading U.S. manufacturers. At Comdex next week Be will show version 4 of the BeOS for the first time.

Torsten Busse writes for the IDG News Service in San Francisco.

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