Cracks in Acorn

16th October 1998 at 01:00
Schools using Acorn computers were startled last month by the news that the company had scrapped a Pounds 2 million project to develop a new Risc PC2 computer, codenamed Phoebe, and made staff redundant. The new machine was a curious development as it was to be aimed at enthusiasts - a tiny market - rather than schools.

Some reports hinted that the company would stop supplying school computers, but Acorn insists that it will continue to supply machines to schools that want them.

Acorns are sold through Xemplar, a company owned by Acorn and Apple. Though Acorn has strong customer loyalty, many Acorn schools are switching to other platforms. While Xemplar says it will continue to supply Risc PCs as long as Acorn makes them, demand will eventually fall to a point where it is no longer profitable to do so.

Xemplar supplies a range of innovative technology for schools. It sells Apple Macs and Windows PCs, and is offering Acorn Network Computers as a route to Windows. These devices sit on a network and can be used for both Acorn software and Windows. The company also offers Acorn schools PC Toolbox. These Windows PCs have software familiar to Acorn users.

An Xemplar spokesman said the Acorn network computer allows users to have access to low-cost desktop machines, run and managed securely from a central server. Call 01223 724200 or see

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