One of the problem Internet giant Google has faced with the cloud-based, in-browser productivity applications Google Apps is simply that they aren’t Microsoft Office: love it or hate it, Microsoft Office applications have decades of momentum in enterprise, education, and government and are still a de facto standard for word processing, spreadsheet, and (even though it hurts to say it) presentation documents. Now, Google is looking to bridge that gap: Google has just acquired DocVerse, a startup that makes an online collaboration plug-in for Microsoft Office. The idea is to help users transition from Microsoft Office desktop applications to Google Apps’ cloud-based services.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports have it in the $25 million range.
“Our first step will be to combine DocVerse with Google Apps to create a bridge between Microsoft Office and Google Apps,” wrote DocVerse founders Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui in their company blog. “We fundamentally believe that Google is one of the best positioned companies to truly disrupt the world of productivity software.”
If Google can succeed in bringing Microsoft Office documents into the Google App’s milieu with little pain, the company will be competing against Microsoft’s own Office 2010 Web applications, which have been in testing since mid-2009. Microsoft plans to release Microsoft Office 2010 to business customers on May 12.