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NewsGator Buys FeedDemon

NewsGator has picked up a desktop RSS reader with the acquisition of FeedDemon, finally freeing its multi-device synch system from Outlook.

The cash and stock acquisition, announced Tuesday, will combine NewsGator's software platform with Bradbury Software's FeedDemon technology.

NewsGator's subscription services let users read content in the Real Simple Syndication (RSS) format in Outlook, on the Web and on mobile phones.

The service provides server-side synchronization, so that articles read by a subscriber on one device will be marked as read when accessed in a different manner. FeedDemon is a desktop RSS reader for Windows machines.

"Up to now, NewsGator has been all about reading the content you want on whatever device you happen to be using," said NewsGator CEO Greg Reinacker. "People wanted to have a desktop reader, but for whatever reason didn't want to use Outlook. FeedDemon had good technology, a great GUI, and a great customer base."

FeedDemon is already integrated with Bloglines, a free Web-based reader, and NewsGator. Now, FeedDemon's NewsGator integration with NewsGator's online synchronization platform will get tighter, and the status of FeedDemon users' articles will be maintained when they use different computers.

The read/unread/deleted status of articles also will be maintained when users move between FeedDemon and NewsGator.

NewsGator has a free reader and subscription services are provided by paid subscription while FeedDemon was a $29.95 download.

Existing FeedDemon customers will get free two-year business basic subscriptions to the NewsGator service, which will now include FeedDemon. Paying NewsGator customers will also get FeedDemon at no extra charge. The companies expect to release a new version that integrates the two products in June.

In a statement, Bradbury Software founder Nick Bradbury said there were many server-side functions he had wanted to add to the FeedDemon product, such as links to related items or articles with the most comments that will be enabled by NewsGator's platform. Bradbury will go on the NewsGator payroll as architect of client products.

NewsGator is working on an enterprise product, tentatively named NewsGator Enterprise Server, with a beta release planned within a few weeks. It's also creating branded downloadable news readers for media companies, such as the Denver Post News Hound. Reinacker said the company would continue to support FeedDemon as a standalone reader, along with TopStyle, an HTML editor also developed by Bradbury Software.

"In the longer term, NewsGator is all about the enterprise," Reinacker said. His company is developing its software platform to enable enterprises to securely distribute content to employees behind firewalls.

"Enterprises want to keep their content private," Reinacker said. "They have a lot of information locked up in existing business systems, and they're looking for ways to unlock that information and expose it to people who can act on it."