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April 1, 2012

One More Thing (on April Fools’ Day)

[NOTE: From the name-calling and angry comments, it’s clear we offended some BlackBerry users, and I wanted to clarify a few things: 1) we were poking fun at the company (which seems to have lost its way), not the users. 2) We’ve discussed BlackBerry as a Plex platform, and looked into getting our Android app into the App World, but there were issues (the PlayBook version of Android was too old to support the video features we need, and the custom video solution we use for Android 2.x doesn’t work on the PlayBook). 3) I’m personally sorry I offended anyone. This was an April Fools’ post, and not intended to be taken seriously! Please check your pitchforks and Torches at the door.]

It’s been a big week for us here at Plex. We released a killer update of the Plex for Roku client, which is now officially in the Roku Channel Store. We released a massive update of the Plex Media Server, with DLNA and Windows Phone support. And we released a beautiful new client for the Windows Phone. Not bad, right?

We wanted to bring you equally big news on the business front. This may come as a surprise to many of you, but we’ve been talking to a number of companies over the past year, and have rejected quite a few otherwise generous acquisition offers, simply because we didn’t feel like they were good fits. (At one point we were entertaining an offer from a certain Cupertino company, but in all honesty I was left entirely unimpressed with the cafeteria food.)

A few months ago, however, we found a company which shared our passion, our ethos, our philosophy. The company was looking to revitalize their brand, and was lacking a cohesive media story for their devices. One thing led to another, and now that the ink is dry on the paperwork, I’m incredibly proud to be able to share the news with you: We have been acquired by RIM.

Think about it for a moment: they have a great line of phones, a killer tablet, a magnificent sense of design (have you let your thumbs run over a BlackBerry keyboard lately?), and an incredible vision for the future. And have you heard the new CEO speak? When he says “What I’m really good at is inspiring teams” he means it! I’m inspired!

So what does this new direction imply for our current users? Most of you probably already own a BlackBerry device (who doesn’t?) so you shouldn’t notice much a difference at all. The iOS, Android, and Window Phone clients will get updates which redirect you on launch to the RIM homepage, and our new BlackBerry/PlayBook client (we’re calling it “PlexBerry” which I think you’ll agree has a nice ring) will be available for download in the next 24 hours. Since RIM’s focus for the week is on corporate customers, we’re including a new “boss key” feature in Plex which will quickly overlay an Excel spreadsheet over any video you’re watching.

We want to thank you all so much for your support over the past years! I will of course continue working on Plex for RIM devices, reporting directly to Thorsten (now that he’s cleaned house – about time!).

[Before taking this too seriously, check the date on the article.]

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