Adios, 280 Slides
Usually, when any startup hints at discontinuing a service, tech bloggers are all over it, even when a company is acquired and everyone anticipates the transition, but 280 Slides has announced the discontinuance of their app – no one has made a peep. When it launched several years ago, it was described as a tool that “enables anyone with a web browser to quickly and easily create beautiful presentations. 280 Slides takes advantage of the web by making it trivial to find and include great media in your presentation. We also built in advanced features like importing and exporting PowerPoint documents, so your data is always portable.”
It has been the presentation darling of web users for years 280 North, the company that developed 280 Slides was acquired in 2010 by Motorola for $20 million after $250,000 in seed money from Y-Combinator and various angel investors. They were acquired for their creation of “Cappuccino,” a highly praised programming language and set of frames used to create rich web applications similarly to creating desktop apps for MacOSX.
280 North created a programming language and set of frameworks collectively known as Cappuccino that can be used to create rich web applications in the same way you’d create desktop applications for MacOS X. A Motorola spokesperson told TechCrunch.com last year, “The transaction provides Motorola with specialized web-app engineering talent and technology that will help facilitate the continued expansion of Motorola’s application ecosystem. We believe 280 North will be instrumental in helping us continue to foster the Android ecosystem with innovative web-based technologies and applications.”
The well respected ArsTechnica blog wrote three years ago, “280 Slides is a very impressive presentation app that looks and works very similar to Apple’s critically-acclaimed Keynote. Anyone familiar with Keynote or the ubiquitous PowerPoint can easily create a well-designed presentation with nothing but a web browser. Though Slides lacks some of the features of other web-based presentation apps, it tends to favor simplicity and elegance and is still highly serviceable for most needs. The app also runs smoothly and seamlessly. On Mac OS X, it’s easy to forget that it’s running in a browser and not directly on the desktop.”
But no more. They’re finally shutting it down.
Visitors to 280Slides.com are greeted with the following note:
“Thank you for participating in our 280 Slides beta program, and your evaluation of our 280 Slides software application. On December 21, 2011 we will be discontinuing this 280 Slides beta program. Please save your presentations created in 280 Slides using the “Download” button to enable you to access your content after 280 Slides is discontinued on December 21, 2011.
We thank you again for your participation in this beta program.”
It is unclear how Motorola will use the technology or incorporate it into their offering, but it is likely that Cappuccino is the primary target of all parties involved, not this one-off app. As of next month, 280 Slides groupies will have to find an alternative.