Feeds

Mystery as Google offloads SketchUp 3D drawing tool

Spatial specialist Trimble partners with big G to keep SketchUp warehouse alive

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Google has decided that the 3D modelling business is non-core and has sold its SketchUp tool to spatial specialist Trimble.

SketchUp was a free download and offers users the chance to make 3D models of just about anything, either by building them from scratch or by downloading them from Google's Warehouse of user-generated 3D models. The application integrated with Google Earth, a feature that led to its acquisition from US company @Last Software in 2006.

Google is saying very little about the reasons for the sale. The company's official blog is silent on the transaction and the SketchUp blog offers only the comment that “there’s still so much we want to do, and we think we’ve found a way forward that will benefit everyone—our product, our team and especially our millions of users” as a rationale for the sale.”

Trimble's statement on the sale says it will “partner with Google on running and developing SketchUp's 3D Warehouse” but offers no insights into how it plans to integrate the software into its portfolio of specialist modelling and mapmaking tools.

So why did Google offload SketchUp? And why was its intention to do so not even mentioned in the context of it's spring cleaning plans?

Leominster, Herefordshire, Google SketchUp model

A model of a building in Leominster, Herefordshire created with Google SketchUp

Our guess is that there simply wasn't any money in it, perhaps not even through ads alongside the Warehouse of models. With Larry Page focusing the search giant on its most important efforts, SketchUp was therefore surplus to requirements.

But the realisation that the tool was non-core seems to have come quite suddenly. Only a month ago the company was handing out awards for the best models in the world, including the rather pretty model from Leominster, Herefordshire, above. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.