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Why did Google buy BumpTop?

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In news I don’t quite understand, BumpTop has been bought by Google. Not a copy of the desktop-metaphor interface software, the whole company. And if you want a copy of that software for Windows or Mac, you’d better get it  now.

TechCrunch posted the first whiff of the news, and it’s now confirmed on the BumpTop website.

Today, we have a big announcement to make: we’re excited to announce that we’ve been acquired by Google! This means that BumpTop (for both Windows and Mac) will no longer be available for sale. Additionally, no updates to the products are planned.

The free version will remain available for the next week. Pro users will continue to receive support, but no upgrades.

No reasons have been given for the buyout. Presumably Google intends to use BumpTop as the user interface for their rumored tablet version of Android or a Chrome OS tablet. That they’re cutting Windows and Mac support would seem to back that. However, I’ve found BumpTop drives processors hard and feels a bit cramped on a tablet screen. I think something like Microsoft Surface is a better fit for it. But then again, I like both my real and digital desktops free of clutter.

To see what the fuss is about, check out the multi-touch video demo and what might be our last InkShow featuring BumpTop, at least for a while.

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at] notebooks.com

6 Comments

  1. Website Widgets

    05/02/2010 at 7:45 pm

    Google is buying up everything. I would not worry about it as it will be free.

  2. chairmanhowie

    05/03/2010 at 5:03 am

    I reviewed the now-dead HP Slate running win 7 premium versus the ipad on my blog.

    Right now, apple is operating with no real competition for the ipad, which is pretty amazing in 2010 given that they announced ipad a long time ago and HP couldn’t react with anything but a prototype that steve balmer killed as soon as he realized it sucked with win 7 premium.

    Apple-haters have only one hope, the Google android-based OS tablets. However, they are only available in 7″; there is no 10.2″ versions in the market yet.

    Buyer beware – I’ve tested a bunch of them and some of the 7″ tablets are resistive screens only, some have crappy specs, most have very lousy battery life, and not too many apps are available.

    My advice — wait until July or August when google gets their act together with a 10.2″ android model with bump top. then you’ll see some iPads die.

  3. Charles

    05/03/2010 at 2:55 pm

    Never heard of BumpTop till the Google purchase. Checked out some videos on them, very cool interface. How 3D will work on a phone or tablet without killing battery life will be interesting. At least it looks like an innovative desktop for a change.

  4. Mike

    05/03/2010 at 6:12 pm

    I was wondering if they owned any patents.

  5. BadKidJDD

    03/14/2012 at 3:03 am

    I don’t know why Google bought BumpTop and then did nothing with it. What I really don’t understand is the message you see when you go to bumptop.com. They’re making it look like it’s a good thing that Google has killed BumpTop…

  6. Dave

    07/29/2013 at 5:34 am

    real world objects in an interface are on their way out. google wasted the money they got from capturing their users souls.

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