Google acquires Quickoffice, kicks off mobile office wars

6 Jun 2012

Google has acquired productivity player Quickoffice in a move that will enable it to add new levels of interoperability into its Apps suite. In doing so it may have stolen a march on Microsoft in terms of mobile office solutions for iPad and Android tablets.

Microsoft is understood to be planning to bring its Office applications suite to iOS devices later this year. In recent months, Google added new productivity elements into cloud storage by putting its Docs capabilities into its new Google Drive storage service.

The key word here is interoperability as Quickoffice’s technology makes it possible for users to read and work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint across more than 300m Android and iOS devices around the world.

“Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device,” explained Alan Warren, engineering director, Google, in the official Google 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,” Warren said.

“Quickoffice has a strong base of users, and we look forward to supporting them while we work on an even more seamless, intuitive and integrated experience.”

Kitting out the mobile office

Quickoffice’s products such as Quickword, Quicksheet and Quickpoint are used on many smartphones, PDAs and tablet devices and the company recently launched Quickoffice Pro HD for the iPad.

Writing in Quickoffice’s blog, co-founder and CEO Alan Masarek said: “When we embarked on our mission to become the world leader in office productivity, we knew we were taking on a huge challenge. 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.

“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,” Masarek said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years