Google steps closer to creating Office rival

13 Oct 2006

Search engine player Google has stepped closer to creating its own online Office-type product. It has merged its word processor technology with its spreadsheet technology.

Last March it emerged that Microsoft acquired a Web 2.0 company called Upstartle and unveiled plans to roll out a free web-based word processor. Also earlier this year Google launched Google Spreadhseets.

Yesterday Google announced it has merged the two technologies to create Google Docs and Spreadsheets, with the name Writely and the stand-alone versions of the spreadsheet product to be removed.

The move could allow Google to take Microsoft’s US$11.5bn Office business in the flank.

The new service has been described by Google as “one place where you can create, store, share and publish your documents and spreadsheets online”.

Writing in her blog, Jen Mazzon of Google’s Writely team, said: “Keeping your documents and spreadsheets online is a treat because you can access them from anywhere via a web browser.

“You can also get feedback and contributions from others you invite without having to email around copies of files because the current version is always online,” Mazzon added.

By John Kennedy