WORDsearch announced recently on their blog that they are in the process of acquiring the assets from the makers of QuickVerse and merging it with WORDsearch. If all goes well, the merger is set to complete this summer.
Many of you probably recall QuickVerse in the early days. It was at one time one of the leading Bible software platforms on the market, and it drew quite a following of Bible software users. I’ve used QuickVerse versions 4, 6, 7, “2005”, and “2008” over the years personally. QuickVerse was also the first to launch the STEP format for eBook compatibility used in other Bible software platforms such as WORDsearch (up through version 5, replaced with CROSS in version 7) and e-Sword.
I had a feeling this day was going to come for awhile though. Over the years, QuickVerse became part of a more commercially-oridented software company, not a true Bible software company, was using an ancient eBook standard (especially after WORDsearch moved on to CROSS), developed a Mac version with absolutely no compatibility with the PC version, and over the years had an interface identity crises (for example, the product packaging on the QuickVerse 2005 depicted a pretty clean user interface, in reality it was horrible to work with, and 2008 was just a clone of Office 2007’s ribbon, no true innovation). About their only true loyal customer I knew of recently passed away as well, so QuickVerse has been destined to be merged with another company. It’s been dead as a true software platform for years.
WORDsearch is a good candidate for the merger, and I hope WORDsearch will do some of the following things after the merger to make the transition easier for QuickVerse customers. Doing some of these would help QuickVerse customers smoothly transition over as WORDsearch customers, and truly benefit from being with the new company.
1. Don’t make a CROSS-compable QuickVerse application. It’s time to let QuickVerse rest in peace. Instead, I hope WORDsearch will offer users the choice of either transitioning over to the free Bible Explorer application, or giving them a discount on the WORDsearch engine. WORDsearch is faster, more state-of-the-art, and more Bible-centered than QuickVerse ever was. Time to give users the ultimate upgrade to a better platform. While they’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to phase out Bible Navigator and replace it with Bible Explorer as sole engine. Less is more when it comes to simplifying a product lineup.
2. Merge useful QuickVerse features into WORDsearch and Bible Explorer. If there are some useful features in QuickVerse (I’m not sure since I haven’t used the latest release), add those features in a WORDsearch and Bible Explorer update. That’ll give QuickVerse users all of their favorite features, as well as a much more powerful Bible software platform all-around.
3. Offer QuickVerse users deep discounts to transition their QuickVerse libraries to CROSS format (just as WORDsearch did when moving from 5 to 7). For books not available in CROSS format yet, QuickVerse users could continue to use their latest version of QuickVerse to read their STEP books until all of the books become available in CROSS format (just as users did from 5 to 7). Doing so would ensure a gentle migration to the new platform.
4. Reach out to STEP publishers. I’m thinking E4 Group and Light by Design here. Offer them the ability to transition their books over to CROSS format, allowing us who have kept our STEP readers for just a handful of books the ability to finally liberate ourselves and move on to new, better technology.
WORDsearch will also gain close to 1,000 books out of the deal with QuickVerse, and have an expanded customer base to serve. I see this as an exciting time for both WORDsearch and QuickVerse customers, and I can’t wait to see when WORDsearch rolls out the welcome mat to new customers ready to take their Bible study to another level.