Rumours pushed around in the preceding months insisted Dassault was the suitor of SketchUp, offering $190 million. Another rumour has it that Autodesk set up an office in Colorado across the street from SketchUp offices to hire away staff -- SketchUp has been a thorn in Autodesk's side for... many reasons.
One CAD journalist thought the sale had gone through when he saw the "Dassault" logo on this week's Google Drive launch, but the green DS button belonged to DocuScan. (The Dassault logo read "3DS".)
That Google would sell SketchUp is no surprise: buying it in the first place was a surprise, but the Internet behemoth wanted a way to easily populate its maps with 3D buildings through crowd sourcing. (The basic version of SketchUp is free; an advanced version was a mere $500.) Trimble will continue to populate Google's 3D Warehouse.
Under its new ceo, Google has been shedding non-core products (including unhappily Picassa for Linx -- odd, that one, given that Google runs on Linux).
But what does Trimble see in SketchUp? "To Enhance its Office-to-Field Platform" is the official reason. The FAQ is vague, but I figure Trimble sees SketchUp as a way to generate 3D models from its data acquisition devices.
Perhaps SketchUp will be its low-end CAD package, as the company last year bought Tekla Structures for its construction and structural design software and Strucad for even more steel detailing software.
Trimble talks of millions of users ("With over 30 million SketchUp activations in just the last year" adds a SketchUp product manager), but most of those millions are not interested in Trimble.
"The SketchUp platform will enable Trimble, third-party developers and our distribution partners to efficiently develop new applications." I wonder if Trimble knows how bad the API is? Power users look forward to Trimble beefing up the API, as well as basic improvements to the core program, with which Google didn't bother enhancing.
Purchase price is being kept secret.
PS: Another CAD journalist priovides this analysis: "On the other hand, they're [Dassault] probably amped about Gemcom and GEOVIA. These acquisitions seem all backwards. maybe someone got the copy/paste thingy screwed up."