Barely a year old, BumpTop is what one could describe as an application still in its diapers, but nonetheless entertaining and fun to play with. Google, on the other hand, is a company which appears to be on a mission: a mission to secure “web domination”. Yesterday, Bump Technologies announced on their website that they have been acquired by Google for an undisclosed sum, confirming that BumpTop “will no longer be available”, and that no further updates to the any of the products are planned for the future.
A few days ago, BumpTop said in a homepage message that the service would be discontinued, but it is only now that they have revealed they have been bought out by the search giant – this makes BumpTop the seventh company to be acquired by Google in 2010 alone. BumpTop say that they are “very grateful” for all of the support they have received over the last three years since the original idea was developed, praising the ones who had sent “encouraging messages” because they had “found BumpTop inspiring, useful and just downright fun”.
BumpTop is a desktop environment, created to intensify the computer desktop experience by offering an alternative to the regular, rigid-type desktop we use today. BumpTop more closely relates to the normal experience of a real desk, allowing more fluid and natural movements and use. A user can take their desktop icons and make piles with them, spread them across the “surface” and stick them to the 3D walls surrounding their desk. The movements allow icons to be tossed across the screen, rather than simply pulled, and picture files will not be displayed as an icon but more so the full picture itself. If two icons or boxes collide, they will bump each other out the way as they would in reality. Users can even make reminder sticky notes which they can position across their desk more naturally and in an exciting, full 3D format.
The software was originally created as a project for Anad Agrawala’s Master’s Thesis when he was studying at the University of Toronto. Agrawala also publicized his idea at the TED Conference, releasing version 1.0 on April 8 last year. I myself can remember watching the original prototype videos on YouTube, videos which today have a few million views, thinking how gripping and exciting the concept was. I can confess that it was a very innovative and futuristic idea, and I certainly hope that Google does something great with the core idea and integrates some of it into its current operations. I do wonder how upset and somewhat frustrated some internet users are becoming. Google seems to be snatching up as many innovative companies and pieces of software as they can, and some would argue that they want to see a technology market with an array of different companies and people working on their individual projects, featuring distinctive differences.
In the meantime, if you need to grab a last minute copy of BumpTop before it becomes unavailable, you can head over to this download page on their official website. This is only available until May 7, so I recommend that you save the installer in the event you need to reinstall the software at a later date. In the future, you’ll probably be able to download the software again from a third-party mirror site, but I do warn you that the official download site is running incredibly slow so you’ll have to be patient.
What do you think? Do you like BumpTop? Are you frustrated or upset that it is being discontinued after such a short time? Did BumpTop change the way you used your computer and your desktop? Did it make the experience more natural for you? Do you know of any decent alternatives? What do you think Google will do with BumpTop? Let us know, in a comment.
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