Apple buys Spruce
by Adam Portnoy on Jul 9, 2001 at 9:33:42 pm
Apple has purchased Spruce, the company that only makes Windows-based DVD authoring programs. They also make very good hardware MPEG encoders. I wonder if they will sit on this for a year like they did with Astarte. Check out http://www.dvdcreation.com
Re: Apple buys Spruce -- another view of the move... by Ron LIndeboom on Jul 12, 2001 at 5:57:38 pm
Adam remarked: "I wonder if they will sit on this for a year like they did with Astarte."
I think that that's exactly why they bought Spruce. My own thoughts on it are this: As the company that took the thunder out of Job's January press gala regarding iDVD -- Spruce within a few weeks had perceptually married their $129 DVD authoring solution for Windows users to the new drives coming out for Windows users and it kinda bummed Apple's day. Within a few weeks, communities all over the Net were discussing ways that Windows users could do what their Mac cousins had earlier been alone in doing just weeks before. Buying Spruce throws a damper on the lower-end DVD market for Windows for a while. This move gives Apple a bit more of an opportunity to play their hand until someone else moves in to claim the low-end Windows DVD market.
But on the higher end, Apple also now owns a scalable technology that allows a bottom-to-up solutions that if they let Spruce sit for a year -- they are just plain stupid. I do not believe they are. I suspect that the higher-end offerings from Spruce will roll-out far quicker than did the Astarte stuff. After all, FCP was originally written on the NT platform, not the Mac and so I have little doubt that Apple will find a way to take the incredible higher-end stuff of Spruce and turn it into a 500 pound sledge hammer to go after new business. I see Apple now turning on Sonic Solutions the way they did on Media 100 and Avid earlier with FCP. In the long run, this is NOT a good move though as when companies start eating their own children, it's not a move that will yield the best results over the long run...
I remember when I got my first Mac over 16 years ago and I remember when Apple had around 13% of the overall marketshare in the computer world. Today, they are down around 4% from all I have read and with moves to cannibilize the markets fostered by key platform supporters like Avid, Adobe, Media 100 and now Sonic Solutions, I think that the short-term benefits will be outweighed by another long-term loss of another key developer who won't look back...
But hey, that's just my opinion and I have no real idea how it'll all play out. But I do believe that the purchase of Spruce was a move to bolster up the market perception that iDVD enjoyed for a few weeks before Spruce's SpruceUp was later able to access the Pioneer and other DVD burners that were announced in the wake of the January Macworld news.