Google Inc took over another start-up venture DocVerse on Friday. The three-year-old company makes a group editing tool for Microsoft Office. The acquisition is Google's fourth buy in less than a month.
DocVerse has developed a plug-in that allows cloud-based collaboration in Microsoft Office applications Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. With the plug-in, Office users get something similar to the collaborative functionality of Google Apps, in what for many remains a more familiar, more comfortable environment.
According to Jonathan Rochelle, group product manager on the Google Apps team, Google was not buying into Microsoft as it would seem; rather it was buying a bridge from Microsoft Office to the world of cloud computing.
There are some 600 million Office users, according to DocVerse, and their migration to Google Apps would not come about overnight.
"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 Rochelle in a blog post. "The future of productivity applications is in the cloud."
Cloud computing allows programmes and data to be stored on remote servers instead of users' computers.