Saturday 28 July 2012

Save Sibelius

As mentioned in an earlier post, Avid Technologies (which now owns Sibelius) has announced its intention to close the Finsbury Park office where Sibelius is based and move the product development to one of Avid's existing sites. This is what big companies do, they streamline, and Avid is furiously busy streamlining at the moment in order to improve its financial situation. There have now been further developments.

From Avid's point of view, it all probably makes perfect sense, sending the coding and product development off shore makes for good economics. But it is a worrying development for the lively community of Sibelius users, it removes the existing long-standing development team and leaves the average Sibelius user worrying about the long term direction of the product. It shows that Avid sees Sibelius simply as a product, part of their portfolio, and like other big companies in a similar situation they are ignoring the potential benefits that could be created by tapping into Sibelius as a community rather than just a product.

In fact, it all seems to be a sign of the difficult times ahead. Make Music Inc (which produces Finale, the notation software that I use) are currently facing a takeover from its biggest shareholder, reflecting the company's lack of profit and growth.

From the Sibelius point of view, there is an interesting development. The original creators of the software, the Finn brothers, have offered to buy the company back from Avid; an offer that has apparently been refused. But there is on on-line petition to be signed. And the website has lots more information.

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