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4/20/2007
01:20 PM
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Google Buys Videoconferencing Software

While Google indicated that the software would be used to facilitate internal meetings, it eventually may be integrated into services like Google Talk or Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Following Google's strong earnings announcement on Thursday, the company quickly put some of its profit to use by acquiring videoconferencing software from a Swedish company.

"As a company, we thrive on casual interactions and spontaneous collaboration," said Google VP of engineering Douglas Merrill in a blog post. "So we're excited about acquiring Marratech's video-conferencing software, which will enable from-the-desktop participation for Googlers in video-conference meetings wherever there's an Internet connection."

The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

While Merrill indicated that the software would be used to facilitate internal meetings, it may be integrated eventually into Google services like Google Talk or Google Docs & Spreadsheets, particularly in light of Google CEO Eric Schmidt's comments at the recent Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.

"We've concluded that collaboration is the killer app for the way communities work," Schmidt said during a public interview at the conference.

Marratech describes itself as a company "that develops and markets software solutions which enable remote groups and individuals to collaborate and interact over the Internet."

In other words, this is a deal not just about improving internal corporate communication at Google. It also reflects the company's commitment to online collaboration tools for all its users.

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