Google to introduce hosted word processing services

Google has acquired Writely, the maker of a web-based word processor, further illustrating its intention to offer more desktop services.

Google has acquired Writely, the maker of a web-based word processor, further illustrating its intention to offer more desktop services.

Google, which bought Writely for an undisclosed sum, has not so far laid out its integration plans for the company.

The Writely word processing service is still currently in beta mode and there is a waiting list of people wanting to get their hands on the technology.

Writely was launched last August by the Upstartle company. A “Save to PDF (Portable Document Format)” function was added to Writely last December.

It was originally planned to offer a paid-for version of the service once a number of premium functions came out of beta.

Writely can handle documents saved in the open-source OpenDocument Format, and files created in the open-source Open Office suite, which is a small rival to Microsoft’s Office collaboration suite.

Google has a strategy of offering an increased range of hosted desktop productivity tools, to encourage greater user loyalty to its web portal brand.

Like Microsoft, Yahoo and others, Google realises that an increased number of hits on its portal leads to greater web advertising revenues.

Last week, it emerged that Google was planning to launch an on-line data back-up service to users. The plan was discovered by a blogger searching the Google corporate site. The information was later taken down.

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