Motorola Buys 280 North, Whose Technology is Basically Apple Stuff Ported to JavaScript, to Help “Foster the Android Ecosystem”

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280 North's products are:

  • 280 Slides, a web-based clone of Apple's Keynote slideshow app
  • Atlas, a web-based clone of Apple's Interface Builder tool
  • Objective-J, a port of Apple's Objective-C language to JavaScript
  • And Cappuccino, a JavaScript framework deeply indebted to Apple's Cocoa frameworks

This is a really weird acquisition. Not only are 280 North all about Apple, but their products are all about mimicking desktop user experiences in desktop web browsers. Sure, they're smart guys who surely can bring a lot of Web knowledge to a company that desperately needs it, but nothing on 280's résumé says they're worth paying $20 million so they can work on mobile stuff for Android.

Update: Okay, Fred Polgardy has set me straight: 280 North's Tom Robinson developed Narwhal, which is definitely not "just Apple stuff ported to JavaScript."