Tuesday, 04 October 2005

More on the NetNewsWire acquisition

Tom’s not happy with Brent and Sheila’s sale of NetNewsWire to NewsGator. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that he’s literally on drugs.

If you’ve spent any time on the Ranchero beta lists, exchanged e-mail with Brent, or read his blog posts on development, you know Mr. Simmons does not go off half-cocked with major business and development decisions. Despite Tom’s dislike of NewsGator, I’m sure Brent and Sheila were quite careful with whom they chose to sell NetNewsWire. After all, this company is Brent’s new employer. He would have to be convinced the company would foster the sort of development environment in which he would have the freedom to make NetNewsWire all it could be.

As he notes, there are things he’s wanted to do with NNW that he has been able to not get to, having to deal with the business and support aspects of being an independent software developer. By going in-house with NewsGator, Brent is now free from those other constraints, absent anything he may wish to do on the side with Ranchero’s other products that NewsGator did not purchase. With regard to NetNewsWire, all Brent has to worry about right now is programming. One would reasonably believe this is a Very Good Thing™.

I have no opinion about NewsGator, as a company or with regard to any of its products. They have never been on my radar before. Perhaps Tom knows something I do not, but again, I believe Brent would have done his research regarding the company before making such a commitment.

With regard to selling out to Apple, I don’t see that ever happening. Apple’s nod to RSS is the feature built in to Safari. I don’t see a standalone news reader in Apple’s future, nor do I see Apple devoting the depth of features you can find in NetNewsWire in to the RSS cabinet of Safari.

In the end, it appears this is a good thing for the Simmons, and a good thing for Mac users. NetNewsWire simply rules the news reader market, on any platform. No doubt this is the number-one reason NewsGator was interested in it, and I don’t see any other product, much less an open-source initiative, knocking it from that perch any time soon.

posted on October 4, 2005 10:17 PM




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