Announcement: ActiveState acquired by Sophos

David Ascher DavidA at
Wed Sep 24 19:32:36 CEST 2003

To the Python community --

As some of you have heard by now, ActiveState was acquired
yesterday by Sophos Plc, a UK-based global anti-virus company, as
described in this press release:

and in this open letter to ActiveState customers:

I figure that many of you who know about ActiveState's background in the
open source community probably have questions regarding what this means
for ActiveState's future, and the future of Python at ActiveState.

In short, there is no downside, only great opportunities.

What will not change:

    - Our line of tools, language distributions and enterprise
      support for open source programming languages will continue
      to be developed and evolve with customer needs.
    - Our involvement in the open source language communities
      will continue as before.
    - All of the ActiveState staff is retained in the acquisition.
    - The Vancouver, BC office is poised to expand, not shrink.
    - Email addresses, phone numbers, etc. will continue to
      function as before.

What will change:

    - ActiveState will now have a broader global impact and access
      to the resources of a larger company with a great deal of
      experience helping businesses secure their networks.
    - Our PureMessage anti-spam product will be integrated with
      the Sophos MailMonitor product and be sold as Sophos
      PureMessage, while the rest of our product line will
      still be sold under the ActiveState banner.
    - ActiveState is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sophos,
      with a focused mission to providing tools and services
      for users of open source programming languages.

I want to point out to this audience in particular that the acquisition
of ActiveState is a success story for open source programming
technologies.  It is in part thanks to our use of programming languages
like Perl, Python and Tcl _and_ to our involvement in the programming
communities around these languages that we've been able to quickly build
and sell enterprise-grade software such as PureMessage, as well as very
successful programming tools like Komodo, the Perl Dev Kit, etc.  I'm
glad to say that Sophos appreciates this and is looking to expand the
use of these technologies in the larger company, not shrink it.  Score
one for the good guys!

While I have to get back to work (on the usual things, like adding Python features to Komodo, help plan the next release of ActivePython, help plan for PyCon 2004, iron out legal issues for the PSF and a few other things like that), I'll be monitoring these lists, and welcome email questions as well -- send them to me at DavidA at

Cheers, and see you all at PyCon 2004!

-- David Ascher
   ActiveState, a division of Sophos

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