Apple swallows SchemaSoft

The Mac maker says it has purchased the assets of SchemaSoft, which helps software makers translate rival file formats.

Apple Computer confirmed on Tuesday that it has scooped up SchemaSoft, a small Canadian company that helps software makers translate rival file formats.

"Apple has acquired assets from SchemaSoft, a developer of software components for facilitating digital information workflow," the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said in a statement to CNET The Mac maker added that it plans to use SchemaSoft's technology in future products, but did not offer specific details.

SchemaSoft's tools can extract data found in a variety of formats including those used by Microsoft Office documents, along with Quark and Adobe Systems' Portable Document Format, the software maker states on its Web site. The tools can also output into those formats as well as into HTML and XML.

Those tools could be beneficial for Apple, which already offers such features in its iWork suite. The Office rival includes the Keynote presentation program, which can read and write to Microsoft's PowerPoint format, and Pages, a word-processing program.

Apple is already a customer of SchemaSoft, according to the Canadian company's Web site. Other well-known customers include Microsoft, Adobe and Corel.

Apple made several purchases a couple of years back in its professional audio and graphics units, but has been relatively quiet of late on the acquisition front. In 2002, it bought German music software maker Emagic, acquired the assets of Prismo Graphics and purchased technology from digital effects company Silicon Grail.

SchemaSoft has about 40 workers, according to its Web site. Apple did not say how many of those employees would be retained nor say whether they would remain at the SchemaSoft's headquarters in Vancouver.

Word that Apple was buying SchemaSoft first came in a on Mac enthusiast site ThinkSecret.

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