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Be ball back in Apple's court

After preliminary discussions, Be is waiting for Apple to decide on a merger deal between the companies.

After preliminary discussions, Be is waiting for Apple Computer (AAPL) to make up its mind about a possible merger deal between the companies, according to a source close to Be.

Be, which makes cutting-edge hardware and object-based operation system software that runs on Macintosh systems, is awaiting word on any partnership, acquisition, or licensing arrangement.

"There has been a lot of discussions between the two companies, but there's been no formal proposal [to Be], and who's to say that there will ever be one," the source said. "One thing that's been made clear in these discussions is that Apple clearly needs to transplant its operating system."

Although that may be the case, it's not clear whether Apple is ready to make the move due to a corporate culture that lacks accountability, the source added.

Meanwhile, Apple officials declined to comment, other than to discuss its current arrangement with Be.

"Be is an Apple developer and we work with them just like any other developer," said Cindy McCaffrey, an Apple spokeswoman. "We have worked with them on [bringing] their software to the PowerPC platform."