Two software acquisitions of note

The companies behind two of my favorite software utilities were recently acquired.

- On November 3rd, Microsoft acquired FolderShare from Austin, TX based ByteTaxi, Inc. (see the news release). FolderShare is a file synchronization and remote access service, one of those deceptively simple, incredibly useful, "why didn't I think of that?" kind of ideas. The press release indicates Microsoft intends to incorporate the FolderShare technology into its Windows Live initiative.

I started using FolderShare this summer, liked it a lot, blogged about it, and signed up for a year's worth of one of the paid service levels. About a week after the acquisition, FolderShare subscribers were informed by e-mail that the paid services were being discontinued, but that a free version with "many of the capabilities of the previous paid versions" would still be offered. Paying customers are receiving a pro-rated refund for the unused time remaining on their pre-paid service period. My refund already showed up on my credit card statement, so no complaints there.

So far the service is still functioning as before, although I don't stress it much so I can't say if the now-free service has limits my paid subscription did not have. In any case, I have to wonder how long the service will continue to exist in its present form. I hope it's a long time, because I've grown to rely on it and I'd hate to lose it.

- Although I only found out about it recently, anti-spam software maker Qurb, Inc. was acquired earlier this summer by Computer Associates (see the news release).

I started using Qurb two or three years ago on the recommendation of a colleague, and kept using it because in my opinion it's a best-in-class solution. So, whither Qurb now? The press release says "CA will continue to market Qurb's technology as e Trust Anti-Spam...", a product I'm not familiar with but found for sale at ca.com/consumer. I hope this doesn't mean the Qurb brand and stand-alone product are going to be phased out, but at least for now Qurb is still available under its own name from the Qurb website.

Not all change is for the better, but neither is all change for the worse. I'm hopeful both of these two products will continue to thrive under their new owners.

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