"RealNetworks Inc is laying off 11% of its staff as it tunes up
its strategy to focus on its recently introduced Helix streaming
media platform and RealOne consumer service. The company said it
will record a restructuring charge of between $4m and $6m relating
to the layoffs--90 out of RealNetworks' current total of about 800
employees are going.
"The main factor behind the reorganization is the slump in its
software systems business. Sales of its streaming servers have been
drooping for some time, but fell 36% in the second quarter 2002
compared to the year-ago quarter. The company faces severe
competition from Microsoft Corp...
"The company last month launched Helix, a bold attempt to halt
the seemingly inevitable march of Microsoft into the leadership
position by opening up source code to its prized streaming server.
Helix also contained, for the first time, the ability to stream
Windows Media files, which raised concern that Microsoft may
legally challenge the offering..."