image Music software maker Cakewalk is now “Cakewalk by Roland” after Roland acquired a majority stake in the company. While the new logo raised a few eyebrows around the show floor, especially after full acquisitions of Steinberg and Emagic by Yamaha and Apple, respectively, this deal is more of a smaller evolution than a big change. Cakewalk’s history has been intertwined with Roland’s since the early days of its first sequencer — founder and CEO Greg Hendershott talked with us over the summer about those early days and noted early versions relied on and were even engineered specifically around Roland’s MPU-401 MIDI interface. Formal business collaborations began as early as 1995, with a specific commitment in 2003 to work on joint products and an investment by Roland.

The message from Cakewalk: it’s not a buyout, but you should be able to expect some joint hardware/software products in 2008. (What form that’ll take, they’re not saying yet.)

Greg posts a letter to customers on the Cakewalk website. The bits you won’t want to miss:

Although Roland now owns a bigger share of Cakewalk, they didn’t acquire the whole company. Cakewalk is not becoming a “division” of Roland. On the contrary, we remain committed to developing stand-alone software, as well as hardware/software products…

Our discussion forum will remain open. You will have the same high level of technical support and customer service you have come to expect from Cakewalk. And furthermore, we will stay committed to our belief in open standards, collaboration with other leaders in our industry, and not using intrusive copy protection.

Cakewalk has some additional resources, but mostly things seem not to be changing significantly. We got to hang around the Cakewalk booth a bit today, and it was mostly business as usual. The big question is what these joint projects look like — we’ll have to see later this year.