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Re: Arbortext bought

arbortext acquisition
Frank Richards wrote:

> There's a moral here somewhere. PTC is a jumped up CAD company, now 
> doing "product lifecycle management". That's product as in 'thing'. 
> Hardware even. They've got two CAD products, a CMS (Windchill) and 
> several other 'lifecycle' things. They're springing  $190 meg to add 
> techdocs to their glued-together "suite".
> By itself it doesn't sound like a big deal. But it says a lot about the 
> SGML/xml-doc world. A niche market company nobody ever heard of is 
> buying Arbortext to fill a gap in a kludged up product line that might 
> let them play Corel to AutoCAD's Microsoft. 

I've got to agree with Michael Champion. According to our product 
manager who comes from that world, PTC is one of the companies that 
allows Boeing to design planes that actually fly. I've never heard of 
them but then I had never heard of Haliburton until a few years back 
when they became controversial. Somewhere out there is a billion dollar 
company selling ring tones or video games that I've never heard of 
either. Every company serves a niche.

I'm not a business guy but I think that $200 million is a pretty good 
valuation for a 250 person company. Congratulations to them. Far from 
demonstrating that SGML/XML-doc is irrelevant it demonstrates (in my 
very biased opinion) that we are strategic (finally!).

> What makes it sting even 
> more is that XMetal was picked up by a web advertising company because 
> it was cheaper to buy XMetal than migrate to OpenOffice.

That's an interesting an interpretation. I'm not sure what you mean bout 
"migrating" to OpenOffice. How could it be cheaper to buy a business 
than "migrate" to an open source application???

My own interpretation (having been there) is that a Vancouver-based 
company bought another Vancouver-based company based on the 
recommendation of several former-employees (including a VP) that it was 
a great opportunity to acquire valuable technology and staff that were 
very complimentary to existing products.

> We are not where it's at folks.

I first worked at an SGML authoring company ten years ago. IMHO, 
mainstream understanding of structured authoring has been exploding in 
the last two years. Arbortext's acquisition is evidence of that fact and 
(IMO) great news for the promotion of XML at some of the world's largest 
and most important manufacturing companies.

  Paul Prescod


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