As Macworld reported last week, the deal between Motorola and Metrowerks is to take place (see Daily News, Motorola in $95 Metrowerks deal, August 20). . Further information since then indicates that the buyout is no more than the cementing of an already strong relationship.

With IBM making helpful overtures to the burgeoning Linux market, this update comes on the recent news that one of the prime developers' developers is being bought by Motorola, one of the makers of Mac processors.

A recent press release from the two companies shows that even geographically they have forged a close bond. Both based in Austin, Texas, the companies are at pains to reassure us that their support of the PowerPC market shall continue, despite the fact that both companies are focusing their interest on the embedded market.

Metrowerks CEO, Jean Belanger, explains: "We cover just about the entire range of Motorola processors. We have over 80 per cent market share in the Power PC market, and a strong footing in the 68K market."

Customers needs are becoming more sophisticated, requiring more complex solutions in a shorter length of time. Belanger believes Motorola will provide welcome aid in that area, with the promise that: "...we've been told that whatever resources we need will become available (from Motorola)." This level of support gives Metrowerks a strong competitive edge in the tool development industry, enabling the company to compete with Microsoft - or even Apple. Adobe systems, for instance already uses Metrowerks development tools – many others use Apple.

Despite the possibilities endemic in this new-found relationship Motorola intends maintaining its close ties with Apple. It is also the two companies’ intention that Metrowerks retain a certain independence in its operations. Billy Edwards, Motorola Corporate VP and Director of strategic management/planning, states: "One of the models we're following is an open structure – currently employed by Metrowerks – where different pieces and components can be worked together from different vendors. We absolutely want that to continue."

It seems that Metrowerks prime target is to be the embedded market, in which Motorola is the biggest player. Meanwhile, rumour has it that software engineers employed by the two companies are themselves unsure about the deal. Stay with us for more news on this topic as it breaks.