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Software co. BSquare files for public offering

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - BSquare Inc., whose software is used in consumer appliances, gaming systems and other intelligent computing devices that run Windows CE, said Tuesday it filed for an initial public offering of common stock.

Bellevue, Wash.-based BSquare did not disclose, in a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission, how many shares will be in the offering nor the estimated price range for the stock.

A $60 million figure cited in its initial filing was used merely to calculate the SEC registration fee, the company said. In practice, companies usually file subsequent registration statements with amended valuations.

The growth of the market for intelligent computing devices, which also include hand-held devices, compounded by the growth of Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) Windows CE operating system, has created an emerging market for Windows CE-based software solutions and engineering services, BSquare said.

The company provides such services to Microsoft, also based in Washington state, to help develop Windows CE and the accompanying tool set.

Microsoft is BSquare's largest customer, accounting for 79 percent and 87 percent, respectively, of BSquare's total revenue in 1998 and the six month's ended June 30.

BSquare's software engineering team has been developing Windows CE-based applications since January 1995 -- before the commercial release of the operating system, the filing said.

Competitors include Integrated Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq:INTS - news) pSOS; Mentor Graphics Corp.'s (Nasdaq:MENT - news) VRTX; and Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (Nasdaq:SUNW - news) JavaOS, said BSquare.

And in the market for palm-size devices, Windows CE faces intense competition from PalmOS used on 3Com Corp.'s (Nasdaq:COMS - news) Palm devices and to date has had limited success in this market, added BSquare, which plans to use the net proceeds from the IPO for working capital and other general corporate needs.

BSquare has applied to have its shares traded on Nasdaq under the symbol (Nasdaq:BSQR - news). The underwriters are Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, A.G. Edward & Sons and Wit Capital.


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