Take-over Softomotive by Microsoft

Hello,

Does the take-over of Softomotive by Microsoft have any impact on the future of the Robin language?

Best regards,
Johan

Johan De Mulder
robonext

2 Likes

I would also be very interested to know that. In particular, I’m curious as to whether Robin will still be released as open source or not.

Regards,
burque505

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The premise behind Robin is quite promising. Notwithstanding the general popularity of low code tools, I still feel there is room for a proper RPA programming language. It would be a pity in my view if this initiative becomes still-born.

Regards,
Siyong

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I don’t think it will be stillborn.

Zinnov.com article on the Microsoft acquisition of Softomotive

From the article:

Imagine if Microsoft were to evangelize Robin as an Open Source RPA language to these 50Mn [GitHub] developers – we may witness a mass adoption. And with the developers latching onto Robin as the preferred coding language, the ecosystem, including the Big 3 platforms would be forced to follow suit! That is the influence that Microsoft can potentially wield on Robin via the GitHub platform. This will definitely be an interesting space to track over the next 6-12 months and see how Microsoft builds upon this Open Source language as the new standard.

Makes sense to me!

Regards,
burque505

3 Likes

Another opinion from HorsesForSources:

Softomotive demonstrates sound thought leadership with its “People 1st Approach” and it made an interesting move last year with the launch of Robin, an open-source RPA language. At HFS, we liked the vision and concept of Robin very much but struggled to see how people (especially competitors) would be motivated or incentivized to play along, and it really needs lots and lots of developers playing along to be successful. Softomotive is hitting the jackpot here though and might find a lot more people throughout Microsoft’s extensive installed base readily incentivized to ensure portability and interoperability of RPA using Robin if it becomes part of the Microsoft empire. If Robin proves popular with that critical mass, competitors have little option but to follow.

Regards,
burque505

Now I’m intrigued…

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Another opinion from heavy hitter Everest Group.

What Softomotive brings to Microsoft, according to the article:

  • Attended and unattended RPA for organizations of all sizes, through WinAutomation, Softomotive’s desktop automation product, used primarily for attended RPA use cases. Robots are typically installed and executed on a user’s desktop in attended mode. It doesn’t have centralized control, monitoring, or governance capabilities, and is primarily suitable for small and medium-sized businesses
  • ProcessRobot, Softomotive’s enterprise RPA offering, delivers both attended (SideBot) and unattended (SoloBot) RPA capabilities along with centralized control, monitoring, and governance functionalities
  • Robin, Softomotive’s open-source RPA language for programmers. Microsoft’s immense presence and installed base could help make it popular enough in the developer community to force several other vendors to adopt it. And it could become a new standard for RPA programming and help Microsoft establish its thought leadership in the market.

Regards,
burque505

From HFS Research:

Other Softomotive assets will likely take longer to settle as they are further evaluated for fit within Microsoft’s broader product family. Microsoft is confident it has more tricks up its sleeve to amplify the groundwork already laid by Softomotive in its product development so far. Softomotive’s ProcessRobot governance capabilities will be absorbed if and as required into Microsoft’s existing governance capabilities. The future of Robin, Softomotive’s open-source RPA language is not yet decided, though it was encouragingly described by its new owners as well architected, with the professionalism of the engineering team showing through.

And further:

All Softomotive employees will transition to Microsoft in the move.

My two cents worth: if Robin is still, in fact, to be the basis for the next iteration of WinAutomation, it would make little sense for Microsoft to abandon it. ProcessRobot seems to me a more likely candidate to be shelved. It may not be chance that announcement of the preview of .NET 5 and the announcement of acquisition of Softomotive were so close in time. It would make sense for Microsoft to transition Robin to .NET 5, which would mean some time will elapse before a new release of Robin.

One clearly possible reason we didn’t see Version 0.94 and 1.0 of Robin (and likewise release to open source) is that the acquisition by Microsoft was ongoing. Under those circumstances, suspending development of Robin until the new owners are ready to give direction to the project would be a prudent business decision.

Regards,
burque505

1 Like