Google Adds Graphics Startup @Last
Google (GOOG) acquired @Last Software, a maker of graphic-design software, its second purchase of a startup company in less than a week.
Terms weren't disclosed. Boulder, Colo.-based @Last makes SketchUp, which is used for three-dimensional designs, and will continue to cost $495 a license.
"The acquisition of @Last fits very well with the Google mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," @Last says on its Web site. "We do not have any announced plans regarding the integration of this technology with current Google products and services, but we can say that we're tired of all those grey boxes in Google Earth."
The purchase of @Last, whose software was used in the film Good Night and Good Luck, fits into Google's plans to expand its reach beyond Internet search, which is showing signs of maturing. That means that Google is starting to encroach on the turf of huge rivals such as Microsoft (MSFT).Last week, Google agreed to acquire Writerly, which makes a Web-based word-processing software that competes with Microsoft Word. Microsoft, the largest software company, is returning the favor by boosting spending on its search engine. Shares of Google, which have dropped 19% this year because of missed earnings expectations and a series of recent gaffes, fell $2.05 to $335.01.
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