WHAT’S NEW Taken from a SketchUp news release: That's right, Google Inc. has acquired @Last Software…so you might have just spit your coffee all over your keyboard, or you're rolling your eyes thinking this is another April Fool's joke. We're still having a hard time believing it, but it's real—SketchUp is now Google!
Wow where to start? You have to be wondering what this means for SketchUp. Are we going to give up on design and all the cool new features and products we have in the pipeline? No way! In fact, the mission doesn't change at all. We're all about enabling users to express themselves in 3D and share their vision with others. Architects, builders, woodworkers, gamers, students and my Uncle Bob all want basically the same thing: the most intuitive tools to help them create and share their 3D dreams. So we'll stay the course. (Only now we have just a smidge more horsepower...)
I can't stress this enough: the 3D world just got a huge boost, so please don't worry about SketchUp or our mission. Think about it this way: we haven't traded in the Honda for a Porsche; we've strapped a rocket to the Honda. SketchUp is still SketchUp, but now it will go places it couldn't possibly have gone before.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?!!
Here's the story. We got to know a bunch of Googlers while we were building the Google Earth Plugin for SketchUp, and it quickly became apparent that we could really stir things up together. At first, it was kind of hard to imagine; after all, we'd been blazing our own trail for so long. But after we kicked it around awhile, it started to seem right. One thing led to another, and here we are. This is one of those wonderful win-win situations; it would have been impossible for us to feel good about this acquisition if we didn't feel our culture, our users and our mission would be in good hands.
(If you've never seen it, Google Earth lets you explore the world from your desktop and it's free! Remember those flying dreams you had as a kid? This is it only without the flannel pajamas; mine had those built in feet. Just type in where you want to go and this thing will fly you directly over the spot!)
Google's resources will allow us to serve our current users better, and Google's reach will allow us to expose more people to SketchUp in one year than we could have touched in ten years on our own. "3D for Everyone" is becoming a reality; we're bringing the 3D part; Google's contributing the Everyone.