The new acquisition of the week for Google is being displayed in the Google blog. @Last software is a company created to develop 3D software for several platforms. The latest software from that company is a plug in that allows people to interact with models of real buildings and monuments.
The @Last software company was created six years ago and has been developing a plugin for Google earth only during the last months. According to the company blog:
Here’s the story. We got to know a bunch of Googlers while we were building the Google Earth Plugin for SketchUp, and it quickly became apparent that we could really stir things up together. At first, it was kind of hard to imagine; after all, we'd been blazing our own trail for so long. But after we kicked it around awhile, it started to seem right. One thing led to another, and here we are. This is one of those wonderful win-win situations; it would have been impossible for us to feel good about this acquisition if we didn't feel our culture, our users and our mission would be in good hands.The good news is that Google earth is going to provide an even better user experience. But I really hope that Google has bought this company cheap, because I don't see so much value added for Google.
For example, writely may be a small company, but the software they develop has an enormous promise: debunk (or at least reduce) the prominence of MS word. But you cannot say the same about @Last. Unless they have some secret software being developed (which is difficult) it is hard to see how they can be so valuable to Google...