The estimates are that Google spent between $25 million and $35 million to purchase Canada’s hot startup BumpTop.
BumpTop converts a typical flat desktop into a virtual 3D environment where files, photos and videos can be stacked like books on a shelf.
Evidently Google plans to add BumpTop to their open source Chrome operating system. The rumors are that it will be used to create a tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad.
But some, like ZDNet’s Dana Blankenhorn, wonder if Google will be able to remain competitive, and open source BumpTop and Chromium at the same time.
“How does Google control BumpTop so it remains a unique experience? How does it keep out all the ‘baby Bumps’ that may kluge parts of it together with other stuff and build incompatible, even proprietary, knock-offs?,” Blankenhorn asks.
“The only answer,” he said, “to those questions is to close the code. I would dearly love to be wrong on this, but I don’t see another way for Google to maximize the value of the buy.”
Couldn’t that be said for all open source initiatives at Google?