Google Preps Microsoft Challenge With Quickoffice Purchase

Google has acquired Quickoffice, a maker of office productivity applications, as the search engine giant readies a challenge to Microsoft in the mobile computing space.

Quickoffice apps enable users to view, create, edit and synchronise documents on devices using any of the leading mobile operating systems on the market today, including Apple iOS, Google Android and Nokia Symbian.

Quickoffice is compatible with Microsoft Office and includes apps for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, respectively.

Mobile Headstart?

With Quickoffice, Google may be able to get a head start on Microsoft, which is bringing to market Office 15, the successor to Office 2010, and its latest desktop operating system, Windows 8, later this year.

Microsoft is developing Windows 8 to run on desktops, laptops and tablet computers built on either an x86 processor architecture or an ARM-based architecture.

“Quickoffice has an established track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats, and we’ll be working on bringing their powerful technology to our [Google] Apps product suite,” wrote Alan Warren, engineering director at Google, in a brief blog post.

Quickoffice reported in a 7 May news release that it adds an average of 60,000 new users a day and two million a month. It also introduced Connect by Quickoffice, which stores documents in a cloud repository and gives users a single interface across their multiple mobile devices and cloud services for synchronising files for document creation, editing, collaboration and sharing.

“Now, we are ushering in a new chapter with Google,” said Alan Masarek, co-founder and CEO of Quickoffice, in his own blog post. “By combining the magic of Google’s intuitive solutions with Quickoffice’s powerful products, our shared vision for anytime, anywhere productivity can only grow.”

Meebo Acquisition

Google’s acquisition of Quickoffice follows by one day its acquisition of Meebo for an undisclosed sum.

Meebo began in 2005 as a service enabling people to communicate with others across instant messaging platforms such as Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook Chat and others. It later added the Meebo Bar, a tool placed at the bottom of a Web page enabling people to chat with each other while on the same site. It next added Meebo Bar functionality to the Apple iPhone and to Google Android devices.

Google said it plans to integrate Meebo into its Google+ social media platform, which is its effort to take on social media giant Facebook.

How well do you know Google’s secrets? Try our quiz.

Robert J Mullins, eWeek USA 2013. Ziff Davis Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved

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