March 6, 2010

Google Buys DocVerse in Midst of App Battle

On Friday, Google announced that it bought start-up DocVerse, which will help the company in its battle with Microsoft in the mobile application market.

Google Apps team product manager Jonathan Rochelle said in a blog post that DocVerse is "a small, nimble team of talented developers who share our vision, and they've enabled true collaboration right within Microsoft Office."

Google plans to use the DocVerse technology to help improve Google Docs, which is a word processing software that is part of the company's suite of programs offered online as free services "in the cloud."

"The future of productivity applications is in the cloud," Rochelle said.

"So as we continue to improve Google Docs and Google Sites as rich collaboration tools, we're also making it easier for people to transition to the cloud, and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office."

This software suite is direct competition to Microsoft Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

During the past year, Microsoft has bumped up its investment in its Bing search engine, while Google has been developing a PC operating system dubbed Chome OS. 

Microsoft Office is the company's most profitable unit of the company, making over $12 billion in profit the last fiscal year.  This was more than half Microsoft's $20.4 billion overall profit.

Google did not disclose its financial dealings with the DocVerse purchase.  However, according to a report in the AllThingsDigital blog, unnamed sources claim the price was around $25 million.

"We fundamentally believe that Google is one of the best positioned companies to truly disrupt the world of productivity software," DocVerse founders Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui said in a blog post.

Former Microsoft workers founded DocVerse in 2007.

"Our first step will be to combine DocVerse with Google Apps to create a bridge between Microsoft Office and Google Apps," Sinha and DeNeui said.

The new purchase comes right after another purchase the Internet giant made on Monday of the online photo sharing website Picnik.com.

Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, said in January that the company planned to acquire about one company a month this year.


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