Talk about frustration. I was watching America Online's FlashMail download my mail earlier this week, and I'd received a couple of files that were going to take 20 minutes to download. But, just under the file transfer dialog box, I could see a mailfile from Salient with the tantalizing title "Salient Acquired!!!" Tonya and I spent the next 20 minutes speculating on the who and why of the deal, and we were still surprised when we finally read the letter.
It turns out that Salient wanted to expand their services overseas (hurrah!) and didn't have the capital or the organization to do that. I also wouldn't be surprised if they were vaguely looking at other platforms for their patented compression technology, but that's just a supposition. In any case, and this seems to have happened fairly quickly, Fifth Generation Systems expressed an interest in purchasing Salient, and last weekend, the deal was done. Neither company has commented on the price, but I suspect that Salient was worth a good deal.
Salient will probably retain its name, and will stay at its offices in California rather than move to Louisiana. Primarily though, they will have the financial backing of Fifth Generation, which will allow them to expand beyond what they can do now. Interestingly, Fifth Generation doesn't have a high profile in the Macintosh market despite publishing Suitcase, SuperLaserSpool, FastBack+, and various other utilities. Adding the popular AutoDoubler and DiskDoubler to their line will help enhance Fifth Generation's image in the eyes of Mac users, something which won't hurt now that Fifth Generation is gearing up to compete directly with Symantec's Norton Utilities and Central Point's MacTools with the new Public Utilities package that we mentioned briefly in TidBITS-123.
Terry Morse, Salient -- email@example.com