Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Google acquires Quickoffice in defensive move against Windows 8

As the release Windows 8 approaches, ensuring easier connectivity between Microsoft apps - including Microsoft Office - and Windows Phone, one can assume Google is watching closely. On Tuesday, Google fired off what might be considered a defensive shot: it acquired QuickOffice, the mobile office suite for Android and iOS.

Quickoffice is compatible with Microsoft Office, and also has hooks in it to allow online access of Google Docs. All those features make it a natural acquisition for Google, to strengthen Android against Windows Phone.

Google didn't say anything related to that in its blog post announcing the acquisition. Instead, the company said,

"Today, consumers, businesses, and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device. Quickoffice has an established track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats, and we'll be working on bringing their powerful technology to our apps product suite."

Google didn't need to mention the "defensiveness" of the acquisition. The move is an obvious one ahead of Windows 8 and Windows RT (Windows on ARM).

What Google should have said is:

"Today, we've acquired Quickoffice as a defensive measure against Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone, fully expecting that there is a possibility, however remote, that Windows 8 / RT tablets might succeed where Android tablets have failed.

"This move is also undertaken knowing full well that such tablets would carry Microsoft Office, and we need better integration and support for both Google Docs and Microsoft Office formats in Android."

After all, as tablets continue to invade the Enterprise, Microsoft Office would be a must-have on those devices. With Windows 8 / RT, Microsoft has a compatibility advantage with Office, over both Apple and Google. Microsoft is expected to deploy Windows 8 to retail by October, perhaps sooner.

In addition, Microsoft is rumored to be planning a release of Office for iOS, later this year, still another reason that might have pushed Google into this Quickoffice acquisition.

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