Real Software and Real Studio no longer exist.
Okay, seriously, that’s a little dramatic (ya’ think!?) but what might be described as the boldest decision the company has ever made. Real Software has changed its name to Xojo, Inc. and Real Studio (formerly REALbasic) will now be named Xojo. I think this move is good and bad and I’ll explain both.
First the bad. Changing the company name and renaming the product is inherently risky and time consuming. Real Software has over a decade of presence on the internet and people have come to know it (for better or worse). Changing the name means different things to different folks. For some it signals a new owner. For some it smells of desperation. It is neither. It’s really just a change of direction.
The name Xojo itself is confusing at first. It’s pronounced “Zoh Jo” and depending upon your language the z sound either makes sense to you or not. Regardless, I don’t think it’s a huge issue but it might cause some confusion initially. I’ll be honest that I didn’t like the name at first but it has grown on me. Seeing it in big capitalized letters somehow makes it better. Give it some time. It will grow on you too.
The good part of Xojo is that it’s unique or pretty darned unique. Doing a quick Google search of ‘xojo’ shows that there is a sports drink named Xojo and a few people using Xojo in their names. We’ve been told that Xojo Inc. owns the copyright for Xojo so I can only guess what that means for Xojo the sports drink though I can’t imagine anyone getting confused between the two products.
Perhaps there’s a cross licensing deal to sell the energy drink to Xojo developers. You heard it from me first – could be a goldmine.
I was a very big proponent of ditching the name “REALbasic”. For years I argued that a) BASIC has a negative connotation in the developer community and b) adding ‘real’ in front of “basic” implies ‘simplicity’. I always heard “Oh, it must be really simple BASIC” and therefore not very powerful. I can’t say it cost me work but my consulting business did better after the name change than before. Causal or correlation? I can’t really answer that.
I applauded the name change that happened a few years ago to “Real Studio” but never took into account what that meant for search engines. If you do a generic search on Duck Duck Go instead of Google (which remembers past searches) and search for Real Studio you’ll find some pretty generic references to photo and music studios. Not that Real Studio by Real Software isn’t at the top of the search list but it certainly doesn’t bode well for search engine results.
Obviously this name change will take a while to take hold. Xojo doesn’t officially get released until June 4th but you’d think by then posts like this will have spread through the search engines and started the conversation.
Earlier I said that a name change can signify a new start. Along with the name change Xojo has a completely redesigned IDE that has a more modern feel to it. The other big change for Xojo is new licensing. The IDE is free with only one restriction: you need a license to make a build. As long as you’re debugging in Xojo you can develop for Mac, Windows, and Linux desktop, console, and web apps. When the iOS version is released you will also be able to develop for that platform without having a license either – until you build.
A new, fresh looking IDE, along with a free(ish) IDE should make it a more attractive development platform for many. Let’s hope that release quality and new features go hand-in-hand with the new look and licensing. It should be interesting to see how it works.
So meet the new boss. Same as the old boss just with a different name.
So what say you? Do you think it’s a good or bad name change?