The company behind everyone's favourite desktop email client, Sparrow, was bought up by none other than Google over the weekend, with Sparrow staff, IP and executives set to be folded into Google. The question on everyone's lips though is will Google kill-off the Sparrow client apps?
Sparrow is a start-up software firm based in France that outed Sparrow for Mac OS X and iOS in February of last year. Sparrow took off thanks to its seamless operation with Gmail at a desktop level on Mac and iOS, and scored high praise for its clever integration with services like Facebook and Dropbox.
Following the acquisition, we could see one of two things happen: we could see the branding of the Sparrow client apps change into "Sparrow From Google" or "Sparrow For Gmail", or we could see Google strip the software of its original Sparrow branding and relabel it as a straight Gmail client.
What's the difference, you ask? It's subtle, but it's there.
Rebranding Sparrow as a pure Gmail desktop client means that Google puts the now-great piece of desktop email software at risk of being spoiled by Google injecting a whole bunch of crap into it. What kind of crap? Well, you've seen its awful web interface...
Rebranding Sparrow as a partnered product endorsed by Google, however, sees the e-mail client integrated with all of Google's great products like Drive, Search and Plus into Sparrow without trampling all over the current user experience that people know and love.
There's already a petition going to stop Google from trampling Sparrow.
We're given some comfort as to the future of Sparrow from Dom Leca, CEO of Sparrow, who said in a blog post that the company would fold itself into the Gmail team, but it would still continue to make the Sparrow client available:
We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience. Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.
Google, meanwhile, has reportedly said that it bought Sparrow to pretty-up its existing email offerings.
Hopefully Sparrow will follow the path of Zagat or Motorola Mobility and remain as its own brand, rather than becoming recycled into the mega-business that is Google.