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10/10/2006
06:20 PM
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Google Weds Writely And Spreadsheets

Say good-bye to the Writely brand. Google plans to integrate the online word processor with Google Spreadsheets. The application suite will be called Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

At the Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Google plans to announce the marriage of its online word processing application, Writely, with Google Spreadsheets.

It's been a short courtship. Google acquired Writely in March. Google Spreadsheets emerged from Google Labs in June. After just a few months of corporate cohabitation, the two applications have gotten hitched.

Google plans to integrate the two into a single application suite. The newly wedded software will go by the name Google Docs & Spreadsheets, an online productivity suite "that makes it easier for people to create, manage, and share documents and spreadsheets online." The Writely brand will go away, but the technology behind it will continue to drive Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

The software is currently in beta, available for free and open to sign-ups now.

Google hopes that integrating the two applications will make online document sharing and collaboration easier.

The application merger reflects Google's recent effort "to develop features rather than more products," as a Google spokeswoman put it.

Over the summer, Google co-founder Sergey Brin began pushing an initiative called "Features, not products," according to an Oct. 6 article in the Los Angeles Times, to simplify what has become a confusing collection of services.

That article also reported that Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Google Calendar will join the company's word processing and spreadsheet programs in a single productivity suite.

Asked about this, the spokeswoman replied, "Regarding Google Calendar, we don't have anything to announce at this time."

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