Google Acquires DocVerse

According to TechCrunch, Google just acquired a service called DocVerse. This is going to have a major impact on Google Docs, and it is going to be a huge boost for Google’s service.

When you go to the DocVerse website, you see in large letters, “Radically Improve the Way You Work on your Documents –
Painless, real time sharing and simultaneous group-editing editing of Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents”. This sounds like an advertisement for Google Docs, except for the editing of Microsoft products part.

On its “About” page, DocVerse states. “DocVerse was founded in 2007 by Microsoft veterans Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui, who finally gave up on the constant back-and-forth email attachments required to share and edit Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents.” This sounds like a problem common to all Microsoft users. DocVerse is a plugin that downloads into the right-hand sidebar in Microsoft Office. It saves the changes a user makes, whether or not the user is online, and by clicking save, it is equivalent to clicking “Share”. All changes from the users attached to the document will be shown a universal version, with all the changes shown to everyone. This is similar to using the Track Changes tool when one uses the traditional method of saving and emailing a collaborated document. The website says that the document will be available on each user’s computer, as well as a unique URL on the web.

DocVerse offers commenting tool, as well as change tracking.

Pricing on the service ranges from free to $99/month. This allows for a range of 1-25 users, and 10-1500 documents. This seems like a fairly reasonable pricing scheme. I wonder if Google will keep it going, or will bring it into its free Google Docs product line.

One thing that TechCrunch pointed out was that Microsoft is offering a similar service through its Office 2010 suite. I have checked out the early versions of Office 2010 and think that Google is smart to find a way to compete with Microsoft directly on Microsoft’s turf. While Google Docs is very easy to use and meets the needs of most people using word processors, Microsoft still has the edge when it comes to formatting in specific ways. If Google can attach itself directly to Microsoft’s Office Suite it will gain a substantial competitive advantage over Microsoft.

I am really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this acquisition. As more details about Gogole’s intentions with the service emerge, I will keep you updated. What do you think? Is Google making a good move here or not?

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