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Windows 7: Could Microsoft Acquire Cakewalk Music Software?

17 Jan 2018   #1
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
Could Microsoft Acquire Cakewalk Music Software?

I use Cakewalk Sonar, a Digital Audio Workstation. I use it on Windows 7. In November 2017, Gibson Guitars (which owns Cakewalk) announced that they would no longer be developing and supporting Cakewalk. This means it is basically a dead DAW, if you'll pardon the pun. Since the news, users have been scrambling to find other software to use, save their projects, clone their hard drives to preserve what they have; etc.

One big area of speculation is whether Gibson will sell Cakewalk, which is of course what users are desperately hoping for. The worst outcome is they use it as a tax write off, which will officially kill it forever. One company that has been mentioned is Microsoft. Apple has a free DAW, Garage Band, that is bundled with the operating system. But for 200$ you can upgrade to Logic. So, the analogy is that Microsoft could bundle Sonar Home Studio with Windows, and offer Sonar Professional or Platinum as upgrades.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how likely this might be? There have been hints that a transition is taking place, and that "there's a good chance for a positive outcome," to quote Noel Borthwick of Gibson/Cakewalk. While this remark is encouraging, it doesn't really say much. "A good outcome" might mean that Gibson will continue to authorize new installs of the software for a period of time, to allow users to find an alternative. Or it could mean that the software will be sold.

So, is this something Microsoft might do? Would there be any incentive, for example getting people to upgrade from Windows 7 and 8? I know Microsoft is a huge company, and this might not have any value to them. But we Sonar users are getting desperate. I have tried other software, and nothing but Sonar really works for me. If necessary, I will try to use it for ever, on Windows 7, disconnected from the internet. But that would be far from ideal.

Just looking for a ray of hope here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2018   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Microsoft has a habit of buying companies, software, etc. and destroying them. I doubt it would be any different here. If you want to upgrade from Cakewalk, you could go with Finale or Sibelius (I prefer Finale but Sibelius is equally popular).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2018   #3
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1

Thank you Lady F. I actually use Notion as my notation program, but I first do my pieces in Sonar, because I can get much better sound, and also the feedback of better sound helps with my orchestration.

I don't know why MS would want to destroy Cakewalk, it's not a competitor. In fact, it would enhance Windows to offer a great DAW (and Home Studio is in fact a great DAW), and they could make some extra cash by offering the upgrade. I for one would probably finally upgrade to Windows 10 if I could get the flagship version of sonar by doing so. I foolishly never upgraded to the sonar X series.

Incidentally, it's interesting to note that about the time MS was skipping Windows 9 and going straight to 10, and then just to Windows, Sonar did a similar thing, going from 8.5 to X, and now just sonar. What this means I have no idea. My latest Sonar is 8.5, but I recently downloaded Home Studio, which you can get for free currently, and it's amazing. I am desperately hoping I will be able to upgrade to Professional or Platinum, but that means somebody buys Cakewalk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jan 2018   #4
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot

I use Ableton Live 9 and it's pretty good. I haven't used Cakewalk so I have no frame of comparison, but Ableton is coming out with a new version in February, I think? Might be worth a look if Cakewalk is no more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2018   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I didn't know this. I've had Sonar on my PC for ages, but regrettably never used it properly, after having technical issues in the beginning.

I think I will try something else. Good luck for those with lots of work saved in Sonar.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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