inessential by Brent Simmons

NewsGator acquires NetNewsWire

It’s true! NewsGator has acquired NetNewsWire and hired me as a product architect! There’s a press release and a Q&A page that go into more detail.

You can also read what my co-workers Greg Reinacker and Nick Bradbury have to say. I’m excited to join both of them and the rest of NewsGator.

What’s it all about?

There are a couple pieces of the story to tell you about...

The first is that we get requests constantly about syncing—not just better syncing, not just between copies of NetNewsWire, but with Windows RSS readers, PDAs, Outlook, and so on. People even ask us to create a website version for when they’re away from their normal computers.

We couldn’t do all this on our own—but we agree completely with NetNewsWire users who tell us that RSS is hugely important, too important to have to read the same news items twice on different computers and different devices.

NewsGator was already working on this—but they didn’t have a Mac client. It was almost like putting together a jigsaw puzzle: NetNewsWire fit right in!

Another piece of the story is the issue of resources. When a software product becomes as popular as NetNewsWire you end up spending less and less time actually programming. But programming is what I love to do, it’s what I’m good at—and the only way to keep making NetNewsWire better is to write code.

I’ll quote Greg on this: “He’ll continue working on NetNewsWire, and we actually expect development and new features to accelerate since he’ll be able to focus more on design and development. He’ll also be contributing in other areas and products, but believe me, we’re committed to NetNewsWire and making sure it remains the best RSS experience on the Mac.”


People have put it to me like this: “How can you—the guy who does what’s right instead of what MBAs tell you to do—do a deal like this?”

The answer is that this is the right thing to do. As I say above, NetNewsWire users are asking for syncing features that NewsGator already has, and so we can make that happen in NetNewsWire.

And NetNewsWire users deserve a product with more resources behind it. If my time can be freed up so I can spend lots more time working on new features (and bug fixes!) then that’s good all around.

It excites me, as a matter of fact. It sounds like bliss.


I have a ton of email from people. (I’m getting to it as quickly as I can!) And I thank everyone dearly who has emailed me their congratulations. It’s much appreciated.