With the Quickoffice Acquisition, Google will Square Off with Microsoft
If you had any doubt that Google is serious about getting its applications and platforms entrenched in small businesses and large enterprises, just take a look at its newly announced acquisition of Quickoffice. Disclosed immediately on the heels of Google's acquisition announcement of Meebo, the Quickoffice purchase will help Google compete more closely with Microsoft for productivity applications on mobile devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets. The purchase will take Google's appeal--in terms of business applications--well beyond just Google Apps.
According to Google's announcement:
"Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device. 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 Apps product suite."
Make no mistake about what "enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats" means there. It means that Quickoffice provides close compatibility with the Microsoft Office file formats, ranging from .doc to .xlsx. In all likelihood, the Google Apps applications--even if you're not using them on mobile devices--are about to become more compatible with Microsoft's formats.
As Google proceeds with making its application offerings more appealing to businesses, it is also striving to get more business acceptance for both Chrome OS and Android. Google has just unveiled new Chromebooks--low cost computers running Chrome OS.
As we covered here, the Chromebooks coincide with several other efforts to make Google's platforms more attractive to businesses. ZDNet's story titled "5 Reasons Everyone Will Be Using Chrome OS in Three Years" also makes a good case for Chrome OS and Android merging, which could mean an attractive application platform for many businesses.
Google hasn't hit many roadblocks in winning over consumers during its short life, but businesses represent the brass ring for the company, and Microsoft rules the roost in that arena. Look for Quickoffice to bolster Google's ever-closer competition with Microsoft.