Seattle-based Ranchero Software is selling its flagship NetNewsWire product to NewsGator, and Ranchero founder, owner, and programmer Brent Simmons is joining the acquiring firm. Both companies primarily make RSS news reader software for non-overlapping platforms.
The key point in the acquisition appears to be synchronization, something that has bedeviled Simmons for many months. This synchronization lets users keep one active set of subscriptions no matter how they access their news feed; new RSS feeds can be added and items they’ve already read are updated from whatever device they’ve read them from. Ranchero doesn’t operate servers that enable synchronization, but NewsGator does, and has been developing synchronization across its Web site, Windows software, and mobile-device access.
Paid users of NetNewsWire Pro will get two years of NewsGator Online’s premium Platinum Edition (normally $50 a year), but that service apparently won’t be required to handle synchronization.
NewsGator started as an online service and extended its reach to handhelds via Web sites formatted for handhelds and cell phones that can support HTML browsing. It purchased FeedDaemon to get a foothold on Windows. NetNewsWire neatly extends their platform support. The free NetNewsWire Lite will continue to be developed and free synchronization will be added.
Simmons will stay in Seattle. Other Ranchero products aren’t part of this deal, including MarsEdit; Simmons and Ranchero are still working out plans for these applications.