Google buys collaborative MS Office start-up

Google appears to have taken a u-turn on its cloud computing vision with the acquisition of DocVerse, a small US company...

Google appears to have taken a u-turn on its cloud computing vision with the acquisition of DocVerse, a small US company which provides desktop collaboration software for Microsoft Office.

Jonathan Rochelle, group product manager for the Google Apps team, said, "With DocVerse, people can begin to experience some of the benefits of web-based collaboration using the traditional Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint desktop applications."

The product is designed to reduce the need for users to continuously e-mail Microsoft Office documents back and forth. DocVerse claims the software combines the benefits of web-based collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Zoho with the power and familiarity of Microsoft Office. It supports real-time sharing and editing of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files.

Until now, Google has focused on building software in the cloud. Its Google Docs office productivity suite allows users to share word processing and spreadsheet files in a shared workspace accessible via a web browser.

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