Google’s DocVerse Acquisition: Countering Microsoft Office Web?
Google’s sneaking in one more acquisition before the New Year: DocVerse, providers of a Microsoft Office plugin that enables real-time, multi-user collaboration, essentially causing Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to behave like Google Docs. While Google isn’t willing to make a statement on its DocVerse strategy, here are our quick observations.
DocVerse itself is a very young company, founded in 2007 by two Microsoft veterans. They opened their doors for business just over a year ago in October 2008, meaning they went from zero to acquired in basically no time flat.The deal hasn’t closed yet, but the rumored purchase price is $25 million. Why so much? Google is preparing to go to war with Microsoft’s Office Web (currently in free beta). Office Web is the SaaS version of Microsoft Office 2010.
Microsoft Office remains the de facto standard for corporate word processing, and its name recognition can’t be understated. With the DocVerse acquisition, though, Google gains the framework to possibly turn Word into an incredibly robust Google Docs client: picture users in front of their own computers typing a document in the desktop version of Word while another uses the Google Docs web interface to edit it in real time – and everything saved to the cloud.Office Web.
Obviously, we’re speculating a bit. But it’s hard to ignore the coming showdown between Google Docs and Microsoft Office Web. The biggest winner this week? DocVerse and its founders…