Friday, September 3, 2010

DataViz: No Documents To Go for webOS, Acquired by Research In Motion


Today, DataViz, the makers of Documents To Go, has officially announced that they will not be developing a version of Palm's webOS platform.

Announced on Facebook, and posted on the DataViz website, the company claims that creating a version of Documents To Go for webOS would be a much larger job than they expected and that the performance of such an application would not be an optimal solution.

"We regret to announce that we have made the difficult decision to not produce a Web OS version of Documents To Go. We understand that our delay in this area has caused much disappointment to our current and very loyal user base. We would like to explain in more detail the reasoning behind our decisions thus far.

Our intention had been to replace the Palm Viewers, which were based on the Documents To Go technology, with a full editing, aftermarket version of Documents To Go. In order to do this in a way that we felt would be most intuitive to users, we wanted to have the full version seamlessly replace the built in viewers. To do this, we needed some technical help from Palm. Because Palm was focusing on other areas at the time (including their very survival), and there was no official information available allowing developers to help ourselves, i.e., an SDK, there was a delay in getting us this information. Rather than do a substantially larger project that would result in a "sub-optimal" user experience, we decided to wait. This wait was much longer than anyone at DataViz expected. During this wait, we focused our efforts on other smartphone platforms, not because we were not loyal to Palm, but because it made "business sense" to do so. We have now come to the realization that it is not in DataViz' nor our users' best interests to continue the wait and produce the full version. We understand that another developer has chosen to create an editing Office product for webOS and we wish them the best. Again, we apologize to our users for taking this long to reach, what is for DataViz and many of our users, a disappointing conclusion."
Back in April, DataViz posted that they were unable to get the support from Palm that was required to properly develop Documents To Go for webOS.  On the surface, it would seem that DataViz has tired of waiting for Palm to get it's act together.  Personally, I always felt the delay of Documents To Go for webOS was retaliation for the lost of time and money for the late stage cancellation of the Palm Foleo and Documents To Go for the Foleo platform.  The good folks at CrackBerry.com have a better reason: DataViz was acquired by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion!
"More interesting than [canceling Documents To Go for Palm webOS is the] news from DataViz...they didn't announce..... they were bought by RIM!! Though neither company has publicly announced it (yet), multiple sources have confirmed to us that RIM recently acquired DataViz for a reported $50 million cash (not material to RIM, so they didn't have to disclose it publicly as they have done with other acquisitions like the QNX one). Jump on to LinkedIn and you can also quickly find that lots of former DataViz employees have recently switched up their profiles to Research In Motion as their current employer.

Yet another interesting acquisition by RIM."
That leaked screen shot from August 19 showing the QuickOffice icon in a webOS 2.0 screen shot kinda makes a whole lot of sense right now.  I'll have go dig up my old Palm OS QuickOffice serial number.  I wonder if I am eligible for upgrade pricing?!


You can read the Documents To Go for webOS statement on the DataViz website.

[Via CrackBerry.com..., PreCentral.net...]

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alan, I know you know people at DataViz but the best spin I could put on this was what I posted at the DataViz Facebook page:
I could respect you saying "Hey we sold out to RIM for $50M and won't be developing for the competition anymore." To post what was in essence a hit on the company that put you on the map, while neatly not mentioning your new bosses, that was just sad. You and RIM deserve each other.

Alan Grassia, Editor said...

Hey Rick,

I was just reading the comments on Facebook/Dataviz and didn't see your comment. Maybe it was removed? I had to jump in and state my disapproval for canceling Docs To Go on webOS also.

Alan G

Anonymous said...

Its stll there, on the second page. I am getting pumped up about Quickoffice.

JAmerican said...

WOW! That is terrible! I made sure to grab a copy of the latest version for Windows Mobile before it was gone!

BTW, hey Alan! I found an old 1src Podcast in my UX backups and decided to find out how you've been.

Alan Grassia, Editor said...

Hello JA.

I've been doing well. I haven't done a podcast in a very long time, but I'm still blogging and moderating the Palm forums over at http://forums.palm.com.

At this point, we don't know what the fate will be of the other editions of Documents To Go. At this point, I suspect that Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and Maemo will be. I suspect that the iOS and Android editions will be sticking around for a while yet. Obviously, the BlackBerry edition will continue to be developed, however, I would expect that Documents To Go will be tightly integrated with future versions of BlackBerry OS.

As to what version of BlackBerry OS: the traditional version (ie: BlackBerry 5, 6, or 7) or if it will become a feature of RIM's new "BlackPad" operating system - which won't be BlackBerry OS 6.

Alan G