Benchmarking giant Futuremark has been purchased by UL, a "global safety science leader" that's been around for more than a century. Otherwise known as Underwriters Laboratories, UL specializes in certification, validation, auditing, and other testing. Although it's new to the benchmarking scene, UL views this first entry into software development as a "strategic imperative for the company to help meet the growing demand for performance data."
According to the official press release, competition has driven demand for improved "product performance and competitive differentiation." Manufacturers want more information on how their products stack up versus the competition, and consumers are hungry for data on how their various options compare. According to VP and GM Stephen Kirk, UL wants to "build a new business line in testing a wide variety of technological devices so they offer the performance, safety and privacy that consumers expect."
The deal's price tag hasn't been disclosed, but all of Futuremark's staff will continue their work at UL. The company promises to expand the "range and depth" of Futuremark's benchmarking products, which include 3DMark for graphics, PCMark for overall system performance, Powermark for battery life, and Peacekeeper for browser performance. Futuremark's statement about the deal talks about creating "more benchmarks with more features for more platforms."
There's no other information on UL's plans, but Futuremark should have a lot more resources at its disposal. The benchmarking firm has just 39 employees, compared to over 10,000 for UL.