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Summary:

Research in Motion, the company behind the iconic Blackberry smartphones is rumored to have snapped up DataViz, a Milford, CT.-based company that is well known for making mobile productivity suite, Documents to Go. The Canadian handset maker is said to have paid $50 million.

Documents To Go

Updated: Research in Motion, the Waterloo, Canada-based company behind the iconic Blackberry smartphones is rumored to have snapped up DataViz, a Milford, Conn.-based company that is well known for making mobile productivity suite, Documents to Go. Update: RIM has confirmed the purchase and did not disclose a price. The Conn.-based company makes this extremely popular app for all major smartphone platforms including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia’s Maemo. It also supports the iPad. DataViz recently suspended work on the WebOS version of the suite.

The rumors of the acquisition first appeared on the Crackberry Blog which apparently has received confirmation from multiple sources for the deal. RIM is said to have paid $50 million. In addition, they point out on LinkedIn many of the DataViz employees are now listing RIM as their employer. Both RIM and DataViz have not made any official announcements. I am waiting to hear back from RIM and DataViz, though I am not expecting any one to respond, considering today is a holiday on account of the Labor Day.

If the rumors are indeed true, then RIM has made a great buy. Unlike the Cellmania purchase, this one actually makes a lot of sense and I would put it right next to last year’s acquisition of WebKit browser maker, Torch Mobile.

Given how much of Blackberry is used inside the enterprise, it makes perfect sense for RIM to add apps for the enterprise to its arsenal. The company despite a higher install base than some of its newer rivals has struggled to capture the imagination of developers. Many of the best Blackberry apps are infact being made by RIM itself. DataViz’s products would also be ideally suited for the company’s rumored iPad competitor.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): To Win In the Mobile Market, Focus On Consumer

  1. RIMM is to mobile what Microsoft was to late nineties and early noughties. Missed or overlooked every trend, then came late to the party with a poor product.

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    1. Will Robertson Monday, September 6, 2010

      I think Microsoft is more the Microsoft of mobile.

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  2. If true, this is bad news for Android users. The only other MS Office compatible editing/creation app is QuickOffice, which has among other glaring shortcomings no copy/paste functionality, although it does integrate with Dropbox and other online file storage solutions. If Docs-to-Go leaves the scene for Android, then it is QuickOffice only, unless Google finally wants to get serious about making Google Docs functional for mobile use and integration with MS Office. I can’t imagine MS wanting to develop a product for the Android market.

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  3. Documents to Go is big on a number of platforms, including (gasp!) the iPhone – in fact I’d say they are the de facto office suite there. It’s going to be interesting how this plays out. :)

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  4. True enough about the iPhone and Docs-to-Go. But, a fully functioning version of QuickOffice is available on that platform and Apple has already committed to iWork for the iPad and it doesn’t seem too much of a jump for it to be ported over to the other iDevices. Android doesn’t have anything comparable, I sense a bit of a strategic problem for Android in this, but maybe QuickOffice and others will fill the gap.

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