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Google buys DocVerse, maker of group editing tool

Google could transform DocVerse into a companion for its Docs software suite, enabling someone working on a Microsoft Word document to collaborate with others using Google's Web-based applications.

March 06, 2010|By Mark Milian

Google Inc. gobbled up yet another start-up Friday with the acquisition of DocVerse, which makes a group editing tool for Microsoft Office. The 3-year-old DocVerse is Google's fourth buy in less than a month.

Google could transform DocVerse into a companion for the search giant's Docs software suite, enabling someone working on a document in Microsoft's Word program to collaborate with others using Google's Web-based applications.

The Mountain View, Calif., company hinted at such integration in its blog post.

"As we continue to improve Google Docs and Google Sites as rich collaboration tools, we're also making it easier for people to transition to the cloud and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office," wrote Jonathan Rochelle, the group product manager of Google Apps. "The future of productivity applications is in the cloud." In "cloud computing," programs and data are stored on remote servers instead of users' own computers.

A Google spokeswoman wouldn't disclose details of the deal, but the Wall Street Journal pegged the final price at $25 million.

Microsoft Corp. said its Office 2010 software is still on target to launch next month. Competitor OffiSync already offers a program that melds Microsoft's Office and Google's Docs.

"We are great Google partners and are working with the Google channel, sales teams and customers with full support and have no reason to believe that this will change," wrote OffiSync Chief Executive Oudi Antebi.

Google has been on a buying spree. The firm has acquired four companies since Feb. 12, when it bought social media site Aardvark for $50 million. Five days later, it bought the developer of an iPhone e-mail search app called ReMail (which was promptly removed from the App Store). And on Monday, Google snagged image-editing site Picnik.

In 2009, Google acquired six companies, including three in November and one in December.

The company is well on target to meet Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt's goal of acquiring one small company a month.

mark.milian@latimes.com

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