updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue September 7, 2010
RIM deal for DataViz official
RIM today confirmed a rumor from the weekend that it had acquired much of DataViz in a deal that could shake up professional mobile apps. The company in a statement said it had bought only some of the company's assets but was hiring most of the Documents To Go developer's staff to support the BlackBerry. It wouldn't confirm the $50 million asking price as it was "not material" enough to legally require disclosure.
The deal could see competing mobile platforms lose one of the more important office apps. DataViz had already canceled plans for a webOS port of Documents To Go, and while a portion of the company might remain, it might not be enough to support the company's multiple development platforms. It currently writes ports of Documents To Go for Android, Maemo and both the iPhone and iPad.
RIM didn't confirm at press time either the fate of the app on other platforms or its ultimate plans, but it's expected that RIM will either aim for full versions of Documents To Go on BlackBerry phones or else work on a new office app suite altogether.
Alternatives exist for competitors, such as Apple's own iWork mobile apps, but the move may set back interoperability if the deal discards support for other platforms.