iView MediaPro - we get email about this software all the time, so...
If you are wondering, what the heck happened with iView? Why after creating the best photo browser on the Mac did we suddenly not support or sell it? It's a long story but the short answer is we had a partner in the UK and by trusting a little too much, we unfortunately, lost legal control of iView.
The way it happened was we relinquished control so a corporation could be set up in the UK for iView. During the transition of documents to create the UK corporation they realized they had all the papwerwork to control intellectual property and after stalling they announced they alone owned it.
At that time numerous companies and digital camera manufacturers were negotiating and wanted to work with the US side. Our lawyers told us to not to discuss this, don't communicate at all and don't help or hinder the person in the UK that we initially paid to do programming on iView, just be neutral and they would do their lawyer thing. So we filled out various documents for them for years as the legal proceedings dragged on and all these very promising opportunities slowly disappeared. We no longer controlled the company so those deals with camera and software companies sitting in the pipeline eventually withered away, customers moved on, others companies moved to take iViews place.
iView continued and we watched from a distance as under new control iViews cost went up, the quality, innovation and sales slowed down and it was eventually sold to Microsoft and became Expression Media. Microsoft was desperate for a product to compete with iPhoto, Lightroom and Aperture. iView was the perfect candidate.
Creating software that is eventually picked up by Microsoft is certainly an accomplishment but iView had other large suitors. The app could have continued evolving to be many times better and many times more popular than it already was, instead it was sold cheaply to Microsoft and a couple years later appears to have been discarded by Microsoft. Eventually after all the litigation the real winners were the lawyers on both sides and some venture capitalists who had nothing to do with iViews creation. At this point in iViewsf story had a very recognizable cast of characters a lot like the TV comedy Silicon Valley.
Since many of you ask, no, we did not get a penny from the Microsoft purchase. Like all our software we loved the product and loved to nourish, release each new version and work with users. The beginning was fast paced, creative, fun and we met lots of great people and excellent photographers via email and at conferences.
The last 4 years in international legal battles was an extremely stressful episode. We learned that some people are all about money and willing to do anything to get it. The documentation for the lawsuit is all on file with the courts in NYC. Truly the whole thing was a complete waste of everyones time. Perhaps this story will help others avoid something similar. If it wasn't for this iView MediaPro could still be one of the most useful and popular photo catalogging browsers in the world. Everyone, users and both sides would have been better off if greed had not reared its ugly head.
Years ago we got to know John Knoll when he bought copies of iView and CopyPaste. We prefer his story about the history of PhotoShop to our one about iView.
Cabel Sasser at Panic has his own story about the real history of Audion that we found fascinating.