With Google’s acquisition of Writely, I really find it hard to swallow that Microsoft is just going to bite the dust in a matter of months like everyone seems to be predicting. Microsoft has a death grip on the Office market, just like Apple does with the iPod market, and it will take an awful lot of kicking and screaming to get the entire world to switch over to Google’s Writely. It’s not even who has the better product that is the key factor here, it is more a matter of familiarity and entrenchment. If you ask anyone in my office, or most offices in the country, regardless of if they use mac or PC, and they will tell you they use word, and secondly "what is Writely?" Even if Google outsmarts Microsoft in some key arenas like search and click-driven marketing, they will mostly likely never be able to throw down the current king of the hill. Unless corporate America grows some organic tech-savvy in jars and downloads it to all their people overnight, I just don’t see it.
|Google acquires Writely.com
Correspondents in San Francisco
MARCH 13, 2006
|GOOGLE has acquired the privately held website Writely.com, which enables users to create and store documents online, in what is seen as a potential challenge to Microsoft’s Office software.
The internet giant confirmed the acquisition of the site and its five- month-old parent company Upstartle in its Google blog.
"As of Monday, I’m happy to say that I, and the rest of the Writely team, are now part of Google," Writely.com spokeswoman Jen Mazzon said.
The website enables users to create, edit and store documents online, including those created in the Microsoft Word format.
It comes amid speculation that Google is trying to create a system for storage that competes with those offered by rivals, and as Microsoft is moving to set up an online version of its Office suite of software.
But Joe Wilcox at Jupiter Research said he did not see Google moving to compete directly with Microsoft Word and its so-called office productivity suite.
"Speculation is that Google will take on Microsoft in the productivity suite market with a hosted product. I suppose Google could do this, but why?," he said.
"Microsoft has so many other word processing competitors already, at least in the consumer market … If Google is smart, Writely technology will bolster products Blogger, GMail and Google Talk (instant messaging)."