BlackBerry maker RIM buys Documents To Go's Data Viz

RIM's purchase of Data Viz means that the popular Documents To Go productivity suite could be just a BlackBerry tool going forward. Or maybe not--the app is a moneymaker on iPhone and other mobile platforms.

Documents To Go got its start on Palm and is in a pitched battle with rival Quickoffice on iPhone.
Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

We heard the rumor on Friday that BlackBerry-maker RIM snapped up Data Viz, makers of the popular productivity app Documents To Go, but it wasn't until Tuesday that RIM confirmed the purchase to CNET with a statement:

RIM has acquired some of the assets of DataViz and hired the majority of its employees to focus on supporting the BlackBerry platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the transaction was not material to RIM in the context of RIM's financial results.

The buyout price may be pocket change to RIM, who isn't telling, but the acquisition isn't without impact or import.

Although we know from PreCentral that the app won't support WebOS, it's uncertain if or how quickly RIM will dial down support for the moneymaking Documents To Go on other mobile platforms.

The premium version of the product--a freemium office productivity suite that can view, edit, and create word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDFs--has been in a price and features war with rival Quickoffice on multiple mobile platforms. Fifteen dollars a pop for iPhone business professionals buying Documents To Go for iPhone isn't a business to quickly pull from, and the app is also available on for mobile operating systems like Android and Windows Mobile.

Documents To Go has been around since the early days of mobile apps, but RIM only began bundling the free version of Documents To Go on the BlackBerry Bold in November 2008, a boon since the phone didn't have any other native documents viewer. Now it will be interesting to see what RIM does with the company's software for itself, and if it can use Documents To Go, or even the Microsoft Exchange app Road Sync, to help differentiate the BlackBerry brand.