Google’s unearthly digital empire expanded further today with the company’s acquisition of Quickoffice, a productivity suite for iOS and Android devices, which allows users to view and edit Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel documents on the go. Google promises that its buyout of Quickoffice will help its users “get more done anytime, anywhere.” The amount of the deal has not been disclosed.
“Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device,” writes Alan Warren, Google Engineering Director, on the company blog. “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.”
While Warren says that it welcomes the “Quickoffice team and its users to Google,” he does not indicate whether how Quickoffice or the Quickoffice team will be incorporated into the technology giant’s plans and products. That said, a statement about the acquisition by Quickoffice co-founder and CEO Alan Masarek indicates that Quickoffice will combine with Google Apps and Android.
“We worked very hard to build Quickoffice as a user friendly, seamless and yet powerful way to view, edit, sync and share documents anywhere, anytime. It’s been a very humbling experience to see this vision embraced by our users,” writes Masarek. “Now, we are ushering in a new chapter with Google. By combining the magic of Google’s intuitive solutions with Quickoffice’s powerful products, our shared vision for anytime, anywhere productivity can only grow.”
Ok, fine. But why? And why now? Larry Digan of ZDNet suggests that the Quickoffice buy is part of Google’s plan to beat back the impending competition from Microsoft’s new Windows 8 strategy.
“When you add up the moving parts, Microsoft Office is probably the most compelling reason to use a Windows 8 tablet going forward—at least for businesses,” writes Digan. “Microsoft is likely to integrate Windows 8 and Office in a big way. In other words, Microsoft’s big mobile plays will depend on Office.” But by integrating Google Apps and Quickoffice with the plethora of Android devices already out in the wild, Google stands a good chance of winning the work-on-the-go race.