Google buys Quickoffice in bid for mobile productivity crown

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquired Quickoffice, which develops Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Word, Excel and PowerPoint productivity applications optimized for the Android and iOS operating systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Quickoffice Pro app, priced at $14.99, enables users to create, open and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the go, sharing and emailing files via multiple cloud service providers including Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net, Huddle and SugarSync. Writing on the Official Google Blog, Google Engineering Director Alan Warren said the company will continue to support existing Quickoffice users, adding it plans to integrate the service into its own Google Apps productivity suite.

The Quickoffice deal increases pressure on Microsoft to expand its own Office franchise to the iOS and Android platforms. The New York Times reports Microsoft is developing a mobile edition of Office optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, but continues to debate questions like pricing and release schedule. Microsoft must also reconcile how a mobile Office suite might cannibalize its existing Office for PC business, as well as whether expanding the software to rival operating systems will dampen enthusiasm for tablets running its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, which could promote Office exclusivity as a major selling point.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company does not comment on "rumors or speculation."

Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research, told the NYT that the Google/Quickoffice deal will force Microsoft to finalize its Office decisions sooner rather than later. "They better have a really aggressive timeline for porting Office to the iPad," Schadler said. "I'm sure this makes them worried."

For more:
- read this Google Official Blog entry
- read this New York Times article

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