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Google Graphics Software Technology

Trimble To Acquire Google SketchUp 92

Posted by timothy
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
yoink! writes "It looks like Google is selling off SketchUp or, conversely, Trimble is acquiring it. Despite several indications there will continue to be a free version of the 3D modelling software, users are unsure about what this will mean for the SketchUp community at large as indicated by the comments on the official Google SketchUp Blog post. They are, however, rejoicing that they will be freed from Groups for SketchUp discussions."
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Trimble To Acquire Google SketchUp

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  • This really sucks (Score:4, Informative)

    by EvilBudMan (588716) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @02:31PM (#39811131) Journal

    Enough said if true.

    • I think your comment needs a little more explanation, there is a Pro version of SketchUp that costs already.
      I see no reason for them not to keep offering a downgraded free version and continue selling a pro version.
      We are actually about to purchase the Pro version in the next couple of weeks as we want the extra functions it offers.

      However it does seem like Google is narrowing it's focus which can be good or bad, willing to hear more conversation on that as I truly don't know...
      • by Smidge204 (605297)

        This is why I don't particularly care for the transaction:

        "Trimble has already created the de-facto standard for field data models and project management tools for our key markets. SketchUp, together with these existing capabilities, will provide a stand-alone and enterprise solution that will enable an integrated and seamless workflow to reduce rework and improve productivity for the customer. Users will be able to collect data, design, model, and collaborate on one platform..."

        This is a fancy way of saying Sketchup is going to become a lot more bloaty, a lot less user-friendly, and a lot more proprietary... and probably a lot more expensive if you use the pro version.
        =Smidge=

      • You are right, but the Google Pro version is very cheap for what it can do. With Trimble, I think they we will see some price increase. That Pro version has dynamic components and solids which you normally see in very expensive programs like Revit. I also think the free version will get way behind. They (Google) operated just like Autodesk when back in the day they wanted people to pirate their program for non commercial use got everyone hooked on that. Well the first does is always free, and hate to see SU

  • by siphonophore (158996) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @02:33PM (#39811153)

    To the detriment of all of us

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2012 @02:37PM (#39811205)

      Another affirmation that lifetime of any Google service is always in question.

      • oops (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#39811299)
        This is exactly right. There is no guaranteed lifespan for any google app. It's best to not get too attached to any one of them.
        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          I have no problems having our companies e-mail and document sharing going through Google.
          Here is why. Exportability.
          Google makes it fairly easy to export all of my data. So if Google does ditch any of the services I currently use I can move them.
          With that in mind for our business needs. Google Docs (Now Drive) and Gmail do a great job while being very flexible with low cost.
           

          • Re:oops (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:52PM (#39812951)
            That sounds incredibly lazy and unsecure. I hope your company doesn't handle sensitive information. I'd love to outsource all of my administrative tasks too, but as it turns out I don't want a 3rd party vendor, especially one with questionable privacy practices, to control my information or that of my customers. So, good luck with that.

            Your statement however does not refute my statement that there is no guaranteed lifespan for any google app and any one could be dropped at any time with minimal notice.
            • by Dishevel (1105119)

              What is the guaranteed life span of exchange?
              What I have is secure. Usable. Easy for the users and fully exportable to a competitor.
              It is cost effective, powerful and scalable.
              I have full control of who can share what type of date with whom. I enforce strong passwords and two factor authentication.
              I am more sure that Google employees are not snooping through my corporate emails than I am that some pissed off employee will cost us.
              I think you just really hate Google and can see no reason for anyone(in your w

              • by Anonymous Coward

                What is the guaranteed life span of exchange?

                As long as I feel like running the server for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      learn the lesson!

      don't ever depend on 'cloud things'. and google is a cloud thing maker (heh).

      to invest time and learning in things that can be taken away with almost no notice is lunacy.

      one of these days, I expect to see a google service removed several days before its even launched.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      Hardly narrowing. There are better ways for translating flat objects into 3D ones and google is probably already implementing one of them.

    • To the detriment of all of us

      Why? Had Google sold Sketchup to Autodesk, then it would have been very bad news for the consumer. Trimble actually seems to be the perfect fit for Sketchup. Sketchup is much more likely to survive and thrive in an environment like Trimble than inside Google.

      • Your assertion :

        Trimble actually seems to be the perfect fit for Sketchup

        does sound kinda suspicious, that most of us do not know nothing about "Trimble"

        There are so many yet-to-be-answered questions:

        Who are they?

        How were they being financed?

        Which direction are they going to move Sketchup - forward, backward, 64-bits, opencl compatibility, a Linux native version ....

        Will they be acquired by AutoDesk?

        WHAT ???

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Trimble is huge in the GPS world. They've been acquiring companies left and right for a few years now
    • by Sigg3.net (886486)

      Time to dust off my mail server books.
      I don't feel good anymore, carrying an Android with me, even though I use a different account.

      Have anyone setup a mail/contacts/calendar server vis-à-vis Android devs on Linux? I'd pay for a GPL solution.

  • Taking all bets! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2012 @02:34PM (#39811163)

    Who wants to guess how long it'll take before Trimble decides to nix the free version? (or perhaps to move basic tools into the non-free pro version)

    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:29PM (#39811867) Journal

      In 6 months, the free version will become a viewer.

    • by game kid (805301)

      Frankly I'm glad Google didn't just shut it down outright. Big companies are where acquisitions go to die (in exchange for some cash, if lucky).

    • Who wants to guess how long it'll take before Trimble decides to nix the free version? (or perhaps to move basic tools into the non-free pro version)

      The press release seems to indicate that the agreement goes beyond a simple sale, and involves significant SketchUp related cooperation between Google and Trimble going forward. This suggests that the availability and features of the free version may be preserved for at least some period going forward as part of the agreement.

    • by Sudline (1552111)
      Probably not. Free versions bring a lot of customers to the paid one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2012 @02:39PM (#39811229)

    Now Google can focus more on copying Facebook and iOS.

  • SketchUp was an acquired start-up. Is there any data present that would let us see if Google paid more for the acquisition than it gets now?
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:14PM (#39811635) Homepage

    This is Google concentrating on their core business area - ads. If it doesn't have ads on it, it's going.

    What does Google have left that doesn't have ads, or collects data on users to support ads?

    • by ottothecow (600101) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:17PM (#39811675) Homepage
      Picasa--although I think that maintaining its status as competition to iphoto is key to keeping people using picasa web albums and certainly new enhancements point towards pushing user content onto Google+
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Premium email hosting...

    • The more things away from Google, the better.

    • by kllrnohj (2626947)

      This is Google concentrating on their core business area - ads. If it doesn't have ads on it, it's going.

      What does Google have left that doesn't have ads, or collects data on users to support ads?

      Android, Chrome, iGoogle, Bookmarks, Play (store, music, etc..), News, Picasa, Earth, Docs, Calendar, Talk, Translate, Sites, Groups, Blogger, Reader, Finance

      Some of those arguably collect data to support ads, but most don't.

      • by swillden (191260)
        Wow, modded to -1 for providing a pretty reasonable -- and informative -- counterargument.
  • by dmatos (232892) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:28PM (#39811839)

    I volunteer at a local community theatre, fulfilling a wide range of different roles from time to time. Recently, I worked as a Technical Director for a production, which included the necessity of doing the set design.

    Previously, another enterprising TD had created a Sketchup model of the interior of our back-box theatre space, and used that to do set designs. Let me tell you, apart from some annoying UI issues (trying to convert 2-D input into 3-D input), Sketchup is absolutely fantastic for designing and visualizing different sets and audience creation. I highly recommend it to anyone out there for creating 3-D models of their sets, once the 2-D sketches are completed.

    • by Sigg3.net (886486)

      Could probably be used in the adult entertainment industry as well., as live actors look less and less appealing in HD..

      These days I have to enable the ASCII filter in VLC and mplayer. Sheesh!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Get real. One person asked about being moved off of it, but otherwise, no carps. Yoink, give it a rest.
  • Just don't give a shit.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:16PM (#39812495)
    There's always been a massive price difference between the pro and standard version, $500 and free. The pro version looks like fun but it's way over priced. Cut it in half and I think a lot more would consider it. Google was mostly feeding off designers that are software challenged so they were able to keep the price high because they really didn't care if it sold or not since the focus was the free consumer version. I think they'll be in for an ugly surprise if they try to charge for Sketch Up the basic version so I doubt that's in the works. I'd expect fewer upgrades and more versions with the pricing being more distributed between the free standard version and hopefully a cheaper pro version.
    • by tangent (3677)

      $500 is not expensive for 3D software, and it's more than fair for what you get:

      • Additional 2D and 3D exporters and importers - Plugins for these tend to cost $50+ per format for other packages. (Examples: 1 [skinprops.com], 2 [kuroyumes-...ntzone.com].) And, that's without getting into CAD loaders which are often much [luxology.com] more [okino.com] expensive [cadlook.com].

      • Dynamic component creation - If this were a plugin, I'd expect to pay $50-100 for it.

      • LayOut - This addition to the package obsoleted a $300 Illustrator plugin [hotdoor.com] I used to use to achieve the same end.

      • Direct Support

  • Well, so much for ever getting that Linux version :(
    • by rusty0101 (565565)

      I've never seen any of the development team for SketchUp suggest that there ever would be a Linux version. They seem to be content that at least some of the free versions run under Wine. Presuming you have proper 3d hardware acceleration running under Wine. Hell the developers are recommending other companies iOS software to people requesting _something_ for Android.

      I gave up on having any real hope for a Linux release over a year ago. The SketchUp developers just don't seem to get the fact that they have a

  • I have been hoping that Google would have published the Sketchup data structure and released the Sketchup to AutoCad file exporter.

    A recent book, titled roughly The Power of Free used Google as an example of a firm that gave away a valuable service in return for a more modest income from side businesses ancillary to what they gave away. (Gmail and Search are examples of this).

    I was hoping that Google would see Sketchup as a candidate for fitting into that same business model. Sketchup is one of the most app

    • by rusty0101 (565565)

      I have a suspicion that the 'solution' to this is going to have to be someone re-implementing the SketchUp UI to fit over Blender, and or InkScape. Personally I would prefer it to sit on top of Blender because there are already tools that are well known for printing components from Blender on a 3d printer, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone has (or is working on) the same sort of process for SVG file based component designs.

      A lot of 3d printer models are already being started in SketchUp, but then one h

  • Can't see this beeing good for Sketchup in any way. Will probably turn into a free viewer-only version in no time. Without export functionality.

  • My wife is an Architect but she qualified too soon to get experience with CAD. So when the time came to buy a copies of autocad and revit she was totally stumped by their complexity. She bought a commercial copy of sketchup for this reason. It is 3D CAD without the clutter. The concepts are easier to learn, and it made a transition to revit possible.

  • by Faraday's Sloth (720456) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:58AM (#39818519)
    I have a fairly good clue of what's going on since the company I work for (Tekla) got recently acquired by Trimble. Except for long term roadmap, they've pretty much left us alone (at least it seems that way to us programmers). Trimble wants to create a competetive vertical solution in the construction industry to compete with Autodesk's toolchain. Autodesk pretty much dominates the construction industry, and their ecosystem is proprietary and closed. The counterbalance to this is a developing toolchain of tools built around the IFC format which is standardized and open. Trimble already had most of the other pieces in a complete architect-to-the-construction yard toolchain except for an archictecture software, and now they have it. This means, there is now true competition in the construction segment offering information tools, and not only Autodesk and Autodesk. This sort of competition is good, people.At least so far the non-Autodesk parties try to break their dominant position with collaborative tools and an open format. Of course, what the situation will be in the future? Who knows.
  • I think that is amazing, and they should sell off all the other ones they put back on the shelf when they closed the lab down, make some extra cash back for all those great ideas they invested in.

  • As an architect who has used sketchup for the past 10 years this might not be a terrible thing, although that depends on Trimble -- a company I know nothing about.

    Google did increase the speed of the modeller as well as fix several bugs (shadow bug, in particular) but these took longer than seemed necessary -- focusing instead on (reasonably enough) features to integrate it with google earth, as well as some gimicky 'styles'. But it stagnated as a professional modeller. The big improvements have come fr
  • Check out this unofficial source for information about the Trimble Acquisition of Sketchup. [trimblesketchup.com] It has links to a bunch of the news articles, and a write up about Trimble. Do you know what kind of industries they are in already? I think Google is leaving Sketchup in good hands.

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