Google Grabs DocVerse, aka Google Docs for Microsoft Office

Google has gobbled up another small productivity company with today’s purchase of DocVerse, a plug-in that makes Microsoft Office software collaborative. The only surprise about this latest acquisition, perhaps, is that its founders didn’t previously work at Google. Word of the deal was first reported in December by TechCrunch, and today the Wall Street Journal pegs the price at $25 million.

Buying DocVerse is an obvious shot at Microsoft, given the product was exclusively designed for Office, and the company was founded by ex-Microsoft employees. As Google Apps Group Product Manager Jonathan Rochelle put it in a blog post, “With DocVerse, people can begin to experience some of the benefits of web-based collaboration using the traditional Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint desktop applications.”

San Francisco-based DocVerse, which was founded in 2007, raised $1.3 million in a first round of financing from investors including Baseline Ventures, Michael Dearing, Naval Ravikant and Chris Dixon circa in 2008. (Om pointed out then that the startup’s main competition was Google Docs — well, that’s no longer the case.) Our sister site WebWorkerDaily published an in-depth review of the software, which is Windows-only and shares documents in browsers using Flash. DocVerse had a free version with premium subscriptions of $6 to $49 per month based on number of users. It’s not accepting new sign-ups at the moment, though Google said the product will remain available for those who already have it.

Also today, Google open-sourced the code for reMail, the iPhone email search application it recently acquired.

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