Ashampoo® Celebrates 10 years of Software Innovation
A closer look at the company’s landmarks
Ashampoo was founded in October 1999, only to become one of the planet’s most popular software producers ten years later. Today Ashampoo has signed up more than 10 million registered customers and its software has been installed over 97 million times. Obviously, a lot of things have happened in-between – which is why it is high time to take a look back at the company’s colorful past.
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Ashampoo was set up by Rolf Hilchner, the company’s current CEO, back in 1999. His basic concept at the time can easily be put in a nutshell: To develop software that comes in handy for both private and business customers, that holds no barriers and doesn’t require a manual to get started, and that is cheap enough to be affordable for everyone.
Today, exactly ten years later, it shows that this concept is still valid. By now more than 50 Ashampoo programs are out there – programs that burn data, edit images, search for videos on the web, tune-up the computer and protect it from malware. With Ashampoo’s software you are able to create all important text files and spreadsheets in your office or at home. You can even design your own home with Ashampoo’s CAD software.
Ashampoo CEO Rolf Hilchner: “Part of our success story is the direct distribution without passing any middlemen along the way. From the get-go Ashampoo did without packaging, expensive storage space and retail stores. Instead our software is available for download from our servers 24/7. Users are able to test our software extensively for a longer period of time with an option to upgrade to the full version afterwards, only if satisfied. Also, license fees are being paid online. This way we don’t have to spend money on distributors and are able to invest more money in the development of new software.”
Ashampoo’s 10th anniversary: Time for an outline of the company’s enthralling history
Rolf Hilchner launches the Oldenburg based company Ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG. When discussing their first product, the UnInstaller, he says “it cleans your Windows like a shampoo”, thus creating the company’s name Ashampoo.
The PTS WinOptimizer merges into the Ashampoo Winoptimizer ’99 – a tuning suite for Windows computers. Being the first program worldwide, the Ashampoo AudioCD MP3 Studio enables on-the-fly burning of MP3 files to Audio CD.
Early in 2003
Next to selling Windows utilities, Ashampoo also concentrates on developing multimedia software.
Launch of first subsidiary Ashampoo Technology GmbH & Co. KG. Software developers have a share in the profits.
Foundation of Ashampoo Air Services GmbH & Co. KG. First starting off with the flight sharing service Airshampoo.de, the subsidiary later operates their own airline with a fleet of smaller aircrafts.
Heinz-Wilhelm Bogena joins the Ashampoo Group as equal partner and CFO. Heinz-Wilhelm Bogena is Ashampoo’s tax and business management consultant since day one and therefore already knew the company in detail.
The start-up company DownloadMix GmbH & Co. KG operates a shareware portal site, meanwhile offering more than 14.000 Windows programs available for download. In close collaboration with the well-known Windows developer Niki Bugarcici, the daily business of the Ashampoo Development GmbH & Co. KG is the development of Windows tools.
The Ashampoo Photo Commander 3 is published as premium image-editing software. The software is labeled as version 3 because it had already been published under a different title.
Ashampoo unloads the Windows tool Ashampoo Magical Defrag. The program runs in the background as a service, defragmenting the hard disk only when the computer has enough untapped resources available.
CD Recording Studio 4 evolves to Ashampoo Burning Studio 5. Today the burning suite is among the most popular Ashampoo programs by far.
Ashampoo AntiSpyWare hits the market and gives the go-ahead for the new security software section. In the same year, Ashampoo also presents a virus scanner and a firewall.
Ashampoo Magical Snap is published, a screenshot tool that can capture and store anything you can see on your computer screen, including video in later versions.
Ashampoo celebrates 4 million customers.
Ashampoo Office 2006 enters the market. It offers word processing as well as spreadsheets – and on top of it: It is Microsoft compatible, off course.
In the meantime, over 1000 public and private schools welcome Ashampoo’s offer to use certain programs free of charge.
With the roll-out of videU.de a brand new video platform comes to life where users are able to upload their videos. Also, Ashampoo-Print.de (by now renamed to Tinte.de) is being launched, selling toner cartridges and ink cartridges for very little money online while at the same time offering good quality products.
Release of the Ashampoo ClipFinder. The freeware program searches for web videos in big video portals and saves them to your hard drive. By now, the current version ClipFinder HD is one of the most popular Ashampoo programs out there. In addition, with the Ashampoo ClipFisher another excellent download tool with an even wider variety of features joins Ashampoo’s multimedia section.
Ashampoo lives on their newsletter mailings, which are being dispatched with highly professional in-house software. This software and the respective service are also available for customers and offered by CleverReach.de. By now many of the big players in the pond use the professional e-mail marketing solution to dispatch their mailings and newsletter.
The Ashampoo Photo Optimizer is published and offers instant optimize functions thus helping photographers to optimize their pictures in just one click without the need to grapple with complicated settings.
Yet another milestone: 5 million loyal customers joined the ranks
Ashampoo’s software has been installed 50 million times worldwide.
The Media celebrate new language version: The Ashampoo Burning Studio 7 is now available in Low German.
6 million registered customer, growing even faster.
Foundation of the nectar GmbH & Co. KG taking over the domain netcar.de. The website passes on new cars at a bargain price and helps customers to receive substantial discounts.
7 million registered customers and still counting.
How to turn a great idea into a thriving business: The DownloadMix GmbH & Co. KG launches Software-Abo.de, a service offering a bundle of four full versions every month that costs next to nothing and is worth every penny. More and more users are convinced about the merits.
Plan your own house with Ashampoo 3D CAD Architecture, the professional planning software that is not only easy to use but also affordable compared to the mostly expensive CAD solutions on the market.
Celebrating once more: This time, 70 million software installations are a good enough reason to bust the caps.
With the new in-house development Ashampoo Cover Studio it is now possible to create labels, cover and booklets for blank and self-burned CDs.
Another new development is looming on the horizon: The Ashampoo Core Tuner unlocks the full potential of multi-core processor.
8 million registered customers and no end in sight whatsoever.
Groundbreaking: 9 registered million customers
Ashampoo Beachclub: Ashampoo puts up a new beachclub on Wangerooge Island (one of the 32 Frisian Islands) located in the North Sea and makes an investment of 400.000 Euro.
The new Ashampoo HDD Control warns of hard drive failures and provides users with a very comprehensive hard disk maintenance tool.
10 million registered customers speak for themselves.
Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD enters the market. The program produces instant slideshows that can be shared at home and on the web. It also allows for different output formats.
As of recently, Ashampoo speaks Chinese. The Chinese version of Ashampoo’s website can now be reached at www.ashampoo.cn.
Rolf Hilchner: “Regardless of the financial crisis Ashampoo’s growth maintained steady amidst a deteriorating market environment thus demonstrating that our company’s future rests on solid foundations. For the near future we have a lot more coming down the pike. All our programs are being overhauled and extended on a regular basis. Additionally we keep ourselves busy with developing new tools and software applications. We are all looking forward to the next 10 years, so stay tuned.”
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