Google announced they are acquiring @Last Software. If you are interested in design and CAD software you are no doubt familiar with Sketchup, an amazing program that reminded me of Corel Draw! because of it's ability to fundamentally change what design software was, much like Corel did for illustration software years ago.
I don't know what Google has up their sleeve for this product, but it's a break from their previous acquisitions. Sketchup is a serious piece of software, which isn't to say that their previous acquisitions weren't, but think of the difference between Microsoft Paint and Autodesk… Google just bought the equivalent of Autodesk. Sketchup, which is an application not a service like Writely, is also targeted at design professionals and architects, a group of people who wouldn't think twice about coughing up $500 a seat for a tool, which is what Sketchup sold for. I wonder if the Google Earth plugin for Sketchup had anything to do with this?
If I may humbly offer a suggestion it would be to offer Sketchup for free 🙂
Official Google Blog: A new home for @Last Software When I went to sleep last night, I was employed by a small start-up called @Last Software. This morning, although I’m going to the same office, sitting at the same desk, and seeing the same people, I’m going to work as a Google employee. (Here’s the official announcement.)