Apple Acquires Creative Consulting Firm Particle

Microsoft has been generating significant attention lately for hints that it will push to further develop its hardware division. The software giant is not the only big tech company looking to expand into new areas of business, however. CNet has reported on Apple's quiet acquisition of San Francisco-based Particle in an effort to broaden its capacity in HTML5 and web applications. 

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Per the report from CNet's Josh Lowensohn, Apple acquired the creative consulting firm in late September. Founded in 2008, Particle has specialized in web applications and marketing projects using HTML5. It has been backed by celebrity entrepreneur Justin Timberlake, who was actively involved in the company's social video service, and has also been behind several lab projects. 

Particle has previously collaborated with Apple on marketing projects using HTML5, as well as with Google, Motorola, Amazon, Sony, and Yahoo!, where several of its employees once worked as part of the user experience design group. 

CNet reports that most details of the deal remain unknown, including the value, though bits and pieces related to personnel have been pieced together  Particle had less then a dozen employees, and while not all of them will be continuing with Apple, those staying on have had LinkedIn profiles adjusted accordingly to new roles.

The purpose of the acquisition appears to be based on the approaching future of HTML5 advertising as a standard in next generation browsers, such as Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. Increasingly, HTML5 will become the standard not only on mobile devices and tablets, where it is already common, but on desktops as well. With the expansion of cloud services and embedded web applications, the deal is a sign that Apple will steer its attention toward creating more robust web services alongside its leading consumer devices.