Who’s going to acquire Sonic Foundry (and boost the PC market?)

I played with Vegas Video Pro 3.0 for about two hours last night to do some titling, and at first glance it looks so much slicker and more pleasing to use than Premiere 6.x. Just one revealing example: Premiere doesn’t automatically scroll the timeline when you play back video beyond what’s currently on screen, and if you scroll the timeline, playback stops (how could it be less usable?) Premiere also takes three times as much time as Vegas just to launch or close. It doesn’t let you import several folders at once, and the whole "Project Bin" paradigm is silly anyway (must be some Apple legacy for users who don’t know what a directory is.) I’m going to do the tutorials in VV to see whether my first impression is right, because the contrast is striking and really puts Premiere to shame.
But Sonic Foundry is bleeding ink. Microsoft could buy them for pocket change (their current market cap is at about $20M) and boost their (international) distribution and visibility, hoping they wouldn’t somehow try to embed their audio and video products – Vegas, Sonic Forge, and Acid Pro – into Office! According to SF’s latest 10K, they’re already "licensing a tool for encoding streaming media to Microsoft."
Alternatively a PC maker such as Dell or HP could acquire them to build optimized prosumer workstations and make a killing into most of Apple’s traditional markets. These guys are whining about slower PC growth, but what are they doing to revive the market? Why let small ISVs do all the evangelizing about the PC platform and let Apple claim "creative coolness" for itself (which by now has become mostly a marketing statement void of connection with the reality of current hardware and software)? Add other ISVs such as Native Instruments, demonstrate end-to-end solutions with companies such as Roland or Canon, and show the glory of the PC platform to the unaware masses! I’m not advocating a fully vertically integrated model such as Apple’s (the PC market’s strength is built on exactly the opposite) but the big PC players need to do a better job demonstrating what can be done. Right now customers shopping for PCs have too much guessing and research to do on their own. Be a little less concerned about your brand, and a little more about your ecosystem (this is going to be good for your brand too.)
10/07/02 update: Anil sends me this: "the tool that SF licenses to MS is Windows Media On-Demand Producer, which is a very nearly out-of-date tool that does basic encoding. It dates back to the early part of the 7.x series of Windows Media tools, and I’m sure it’ll be superseded by all the Corona/WM9 tools coming this fall and winter. In fact, I think it’s been pulled from the WM site already." So it’s not like the relationship between the two companies was ramping up lately.
05/06/03 update: Sony Pictures Digital to Buy Desktop Software Assets of Sonic Foundry

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