A new home for NetNewsWire

by Giles Turnbull

Online RSS service NewsGator has purchased Ranchero Software, the family-run software company that produces NetNewsWire, MarsEdit, and other well-known Mac OS X apps.

NetNewsWire is its best-known product, justifiably so. Few other RSS readers on the Mac or indeed any other platform can match it for performance and features. NewsGator clearly wanted to cement itself in desktop RSS software as well as building its online service. The best way to do this for OS X users was buy Ranchero.

NewsGator says it's going to look after everyone who has bought a NetNewsWire license. If you already own a full version copy of the app, you'll get free updates and a free subscription to NewsGator for the next two years, which seems a pretty reasonable deal to me.

It looks like you'll still be able to sync your RSS feeds with other services (.Mac or Bloglines, for example), and won't be forced to use NewsGator if you don't wish to. According to the (remarkably well-written and frank) official FAQ:

Brent: The focus will be on NewsGator synchronization, because that’s how we can provide the best syncing. It will work across multiple devices and platforms — even including a web version. The existing syncing implementations will get bug fixes, but rather than scatter our energy across different types of syncing, we’ll concentrate on syncing via the NewsGator Online platform.

The situation regarding MarsEdit is a little less clear. The FAQ says work is underway to find "new homes" for this widely admired weblog editor and other Ranchero products. Let's hope this doesn't mean we shall have to wait too much longer for MarsEdit updates.

Does NewsGator meet with your approval?


2005-10-04 16:30:10
Not Ranchero, just NNW
NewsGator only bought NetNewsWire, not the entirety of Ranchero.

See this post: http://www.tuaw.com/2005/10/04/netnewswire/

2005-10-05 00:27:06
Not Ranchero, just NNW
Technically, I concede the point. But since Brent is the only progammer within Ranchero, and given that he will now be a full-time employee of NewsGator, and that he happily admits that MarsEdit and other Ranchero apps have an uncertain future, I'd argue that *effectively*, NewsGator has purchased Ranchero.

That said, I guess there's nothing to stop Brent releasing software he's developed in his spare time under the Ranchero name in future.

2005-10-07 01:11:06
Good for Brent, bad for us
I love and use NetNewsWire everyday, but I really have no interest in being a NewsGator customer, even for free. I am sure Brent made a lot of money in this deal and good for him, but I'm off to look for a new RSS client. If I wanted NewsGator I would have signed up for it and not purchased NetNewsWire. I was also very disappointed when they aquired FeedDemon. I know they are voing to keep the client open, but I am am a Ranchero customer not a NewsGator one.