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Company and tech news from the region.

Microsoft, Be Inc. reach settlement

Redmond software maker Microsoft Corp. said it will pay $23.3 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit filed by Be Inc. Microsoft said in a press release that other details of the mediated settlement are confidential. The suit was filed in February 2002 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Be was seeking unspecified damages, claiming Microsoft’s operating system monopoly prevented personal computer makers from adopting an alternative operating system that Be was offering. Shareholders of Mountain View, Calif.-based Be voted in November 2001 to dissolve the company. Any cash left after liabilities will be distributed to Be’s shareholders as of March 2002, the company said in the joint announcement with Microsoft.

Primus completes purchase of competitor

Seattle-based Primus Knowledge Solutions Inc., which provides software for call centers and corporate help desks, completed its purchase of Broad Daylight Inc. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Broad Daylight provides similar software for customers such as Cisco, Kodak, McDonald’s, and SBC Communications. The deal calls for Primus to pay 2.09 million shares, and roughly $130,000 in cash. Privately held Broad Daylight completed a $5 million financing round in May, backed by Peninsula Equity Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, Nexus Group and The Entrepreneurs’ Fund.

Tully’s Coffee goes wireless

Tully’s Coffee Corp. of Seattle said it has struck a deal to provide wireless Internet access at its 98 retail stores in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. Cometa Networks Inc. will install Wi-Fi broadband access in Tully’s locations in two phases, with most of the stores wired within the next three months, Tully’s said. Financial terms were not disclosed. Cometa’s network is available through multiple service providers, such as telecommunications companies, wireless carriers, cable operators and Internet service providers, to whom Cometa provides the network wholesale. San Francisco-based Cometa was founded in December 2002 by AT&T, Intel and IBM, as well as investment companies Apax Partners and 3i. The companies said they plan to announce pricing plans and other details of the deployment in a week or two.

Microserv bought by Halifax

Microserv Inc., a Kirkland-based provider of hardware maintenance services for PC makers and others, has been acquired by Halifax Corp. of Alexandria, Va., for about $3 million. Shareholders of privately held Microserv received about 442,000 shares of Halifax stock and about $360,000 in cash. Microserv’s owners also received an 18-month, 5 percent note for about $500,000, and an additional $250,000 in cash, or a combination of cash and shares, is available if certain circumstances are met, Halifax said.

Beton is new Noetix CEO; Song remains chairman

Noetix Corp. said Morris Beton has replaced Paul Song as chief executive officer of the Bellevue-based data-mining company. Song will remain chairman, focusing on corporate strategy, product direction and partner relations, the company said. Beton was senior vice president of business development at BEA Systems Inc. He also was vice president of development at Attachmate Corp., and spent seven years at Microsoft Corp., leaving there as vice president of consulting services for the United States.

TCC unveils wireless security program

A new electronics/wireless engineering and security program will be offered this fall at Tacoma Community College. The program is designed to help students prepare for the job opportunities created by the development of the wireless/telecommunications industry. Coursework will include radio frequency equipment and theory; electronics theory, repair and testing; and security fundamentals and applications such as cryptologic theory. TCC is offering a one-year certificate and a two-year associate’s degree in electronics/wireless engineering and security.

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