Now Software

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Now Software
IndustrySoftware Engineering
Founded1989; 31 years ago (1989)
DefunctMarch 2010 (2010-03)
    • Now Up-to-Date & Contact
    • Now Utilities
    • Now X

Now Software was the producer of Now Up-to-Date & Contact, a calendaring software and contact manager for individuals and groups, for macOS and Windows.[1][2] The company was incorporated in 1989.[3]

Now Software, then based in Portland, Oregon, was acquired by Qualcomm in 1997.[4][5][6] At the time of acquisition, Qualcomm reported (based on data from the company and from industry research firm Softletter) that Now Software was the "71st-largest software company in the U.S. with close to two million users" of its products.[4] Qualcomm also noted that Now Software's products had won high praise, "including Product of the Year, multiple Editor's and Reader's Choice honors and seven World Class Awards".[4] In 1999, the intellectual properties of the original company, including the name, were acquired by Power On Software, which relaunched the company and name.[7][2][8]

On August 27, 2009, the company released Now X, the successor to Now Up-to-Date & Contact.[9][10][11] Now X was rated poorly by Macworld, which called it "a program that doesn't rise anywhere near the level of its predecessor".[10]

In March 2010, the company suspended its day-to-day operations.[1][2][12]

In 2011, InformationWeek included Now Up-to-Date & Contact in its list of "Great Lost Software", sixteen great defunct software applications, along with Adobe FreeHand, Adobe GoLive, Ecco Pro, HyperCard, Lotus Improv, Outlook Express, Palm Desktop, Ventura Publisher, WriteNow, and others.[13]

Two of the original programmers of Now Up-to-Date, Dave Riggle and John Chaffee, moved on to found the software company BusyMac, which produces the software applications BusyCal and BusyContacts, filling a similar niche market to the one filled by Now Up-to-Date & Contact.[14][15]

Now Utilities[edit]

Now Utilities was a file utility product for Mac System 7.[16][17] The first version, in 1990,[18] was named one of MacUser's "Top 100 Products for 1990".[19]

As of Version 4 (released in 1993), Now Utilities includes NowSave, an automatic document saving facility (save after a configurable number of keystrokes or mouse-clicks); Super Boomerang (puts most recently used files into a menu); Now Profile (a system information collector); NowMenus (adds subfolders to the Apple menu); WYSIWYG Menus (Font, Size, Style menus render text as they would appear in a document); and Now Scrapbook (a replacement for the Scrapbook desk accessory).[20] Earlier versions contained AlarmsClock, DeskPicture and ScreenLocker utilities, but these were removed in version 4.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Now Software shuts down". TidBITS. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  2. ^ a b c Michaels, Philip (June 2010). "Now Software out of time". Macworld. 27 (6): 15.
  3. ^ "Business Registry Number 180722-80". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2018-04-17. Registry date: 11-28-1989
  4. ^ a b c "Qualcomm incorporated announces acquisition of Now Software" (Press release). Qualcomm. 10 November 1997. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  5. ^ Gardner, Dana (17 November 1997). "Qualcomm purchases Now Software". InfoWorld. 19 (46): 21.
  6. ^ Cortinas, Marty (2 March 1998). "Qualcomm unifies Now acquisitions". MacWeek. 12 (9): 21.
  7. ^ Sellers, Dennis (28 January 2003). "Now (Software) is Power On's future". Macworld. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  8. ^ "Power On Software acquires rights to contact management and enterprise scheduling products from Qualcomm" (Press release). Power On Software, Inc. 12 July 1999. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  9. ^ Cohen, Peter (28 August 2009). "Now X debuts, successor to Now Up-to-Date and Contact". Macworld. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  10. ^ a b Battersby, Jeffery (16 February 2010). "Capsule review: Now X". Macworld. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  11. ^ "Reviews: Now X". Macworld. 27 (5): 58–59. May 2010.
  12. ^ Wallace, John (22 March 2010). "Farewell". Retrieved 2018-04-17. Farewell letter from John Wallace, president of Now Software.
  13. ^ Widman, Jake (22 February 2011). "Great lost software: 16 gone but not forgotten". InformationWeek. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  14. ^ Mello Jr., John P. (20 April 2009). "Now Software and the Mac/PC office: diversity in the workplace". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  15. ^ Sparks, David (13 February 2015). "BusyContacts ships and interview". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  16. ^ Colby, Clifford; Aker, Sharon Zardetto; Cortinas, Marty, eds. (2002). The Macintosh bible (8th ed.). Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press. p. 508. ISBN 020170899X. OCLC 47636600. In the heady days of Mac System 7, the most powerful set of system-enhancement utilities around was Now Software's Now Utilities, a bunch of clever modules that took the Mac Finder to new frontiers. However, it fell on hard times, and promised updates for Mac OS 8 and later never seemed to happen. Some of the folks who founded Now Software went off to create a new utility maker, Extensis...
  17. ^ Lee, Lisa (1995). MacWeek upgrading and repairing your Mac. The Don Crabb Macintosh library. Indianapolis, IN: Hayden Books. p. 513. ISBN 1568302495. OCLC 36178387. Now Software's Now Utilities has a reputation not only for cramming the maximum number of features into a reasonably priced package, but also for implementing those features well and thoroughly.
  18. ^ "Predicasts Technology Update, Vol 46". 16 July 1990. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  19. ^ "Computer Age Software Report, Volumes 23-25". 1991. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  20. ^ a b Eckhardt, Robert C. (August 1993). "System utility collection". Macworld. 10 (8): 138.

Further reading[edit]