Data Becker GmbH & Co. KG was a German publisher of computer books and software. It was founded in Düsseldorf in 1980 by Dr. Achim Becker and Harald Becker, and opened its first store in 1981. Data Becker was mostly well known for its web publishing software Web to date.
The 1980s: Home computing
In the beginning, Data Becker catered primarily to users of Commodore 64 and C128 home computers, publishing an extensive range of books as well as programming tools and application software. The most advanced of the company's books delved deeply into the internals of the aforementioned computers and their peripherals, often revealing features that were undocumented by the manufacturer.
The 1990s: Licences abroad
In the United States, English editions of Data Becker's home computing books and software were published by Abacus Software. In the British market, initially First Publishing Ltd, did the same job, followed by Data Player Ltd t/a Data Becker UK from 1993 to 2001. The Danish and Norwegian markets were supplied with Danish language editions of the software and books by publishing house Nordic Computer Software (NCS). The French editions were published by Micro Application.
2000: International failure
In an attempt to become a worldwide publisher Data Becker UK ltd. was established in 1999. Data Becker Companies in the U.S.A., Spain and the Netherlands followed. Data Becker UK had initial success with their music-software range (Music Center was voted "Music Production Software of the Year" in 2000 by Future Music Magazine, Music CD Recorder, MP3 Wizard) but it soon vanished as the publisher pressed for a more family-oriented portfolio with titles like "3D Home Designer" and credibility in professional markets was lost. Overall this strategy did not prove successful and the offices of Data Becker UK and Data Becker USA (in Boston) were closed down in 2003. Today Data Becker remains a minor player in the German software market.
2014: Closure of all business operations
In October 2013, the head company in Germany announced it was going to suspend all business activities at the 31st of March 2014. The online shop was terminally closed on February 17th 2014. Customers have time until March 17th 2014 to download all products bought online - after this date, all software licenses will be lost and bought products will not be able to be re-installed.
2014 Publication of their PC-PRAXIS magazine ended. Originally, in the 1990s the subscriptions for this magazine were placed directly with Data Becker. They also collected the payments themselves. Later they outsourced the shipment of the magazine to a company called "Moderne Zeitschriften Vertrieb direkt" (MZV direkt), which also collected the payments for the subscriptions. In the general terms and conditions (AGB for Allgemeine Geschaeftsbedingungen) of Data Becker, they obliged themselves not to disclose personal data of their customers to third parties. They nevertheless did so, since in January 2014, the subscribers to the PC-Praxis were surprised with the receipt of another compter magazine named "c't magazin für computertechnik" published by the Heise Zeitschriften Verlag GmbH & Co KG, accompanied by a letter with a letter head of DATA BECKER and signed by Dr. Achim Becker. Data Becker had just transferred (sold?) the data of the subscribers to the Heise Verlag, who was going to provide their c't magazine. Subscribers were not consulted and those who do not want to go ahead with the c't magazin (rather technical instead of user oriented) are having difficulties to get a resttution of their pre-paid part of the subscription from January 2014 onwards. Data Becker, MZV direkt and Heise Verlag, all three do not react to the requests for refund.
- Data Becker launches WebToDate 8, Netzwelt, October 18, 2011 (german)
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