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6/5/2012
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Google Acquires Quickoffice Mobile Apps

Google's deal strengthens its presence among enterprise users of mobile devices, particularly tablets.

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Another day, another acquisition for Google. On Monday, Google bought social advertising platform Meebo. On Tuesday, it purchased Quickoffice, maker of mobile productivity software for consumers and businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

Quickoffice allows users to create, edit, sync, and share Microsoft Office documents on Android, iOS, and Symbian mobile devices. The acquisition of Quickoffice is Google's second purchase specifically related to Microsoft Office interoperability. In March 2010, Google bought DocVerse, a startup founded by ex-Microsoft engineers that makes software to enable cloud-based collaboration in Microsoft Office applications.

Despite the availability of Google Apps as an alternative to Microsoft Office, Google wants to ensure that user affinity for popular Office file formats like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint doesn't limit the appeal of its own cloud-based and mobile products.

[ Read how hackers thwarted Google Apps' two-factor authentication. See Google Apps Security Beat By CloudFlare Hackers. ]

"Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone, and on any device," said Google engineering director Alan Warren in a blog post. "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."

For those not ready to "go Google," Quickoffice offers a way to access Google's cloud through mobile devices without abandoning Microsoft. Quickoffice co-founder and CEO Alan Masarek characterizes the deal as a way to grow the companies' shared vision of "anytime, anywhere productivity."

The deal is also about buying users, particularly business users. Quickoffice claims that its software is installed on over 300 million devices worldwide and that it is adding two million customers every month.

It's also about winning the loyalty of corporate tablet users, most of whom rely on Apple's iPad and could easily become iCloud-dependent. With Quickoffice, Google gets Connect, a cloud-based Microsoft Office editor that works with native rather than converted files. Google Docs has long been able to import Office files, but when it converts them to Docs format for editing, there can be formatting issues, as Microsoft points out. With Quickoffice Connect and native Office file storage in Google Drive, that issue disappears.

Quickoffice also has been designed to connect to enterprise file security services through its SaveBack API. The company has partnered with enterprise-focused companies like Box, Copiun, Oxygen Cloud, Accellion, Alfresco, GroupLogic, Moprise, and Stratoshperix.

Google's acquisition of Quickoffice is its second in as many days and its third this year. In 2011, Google bought at least 26 companies.

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