When I first migrated from Windows Mobile to Android, my Android phone had a lite version of Quickoffice pre-installed and as a result I became a frequent user of the software suite. Right now I have Quickoffice for Android, WebOS and iOS, to maintain a semblance of consistency across my multiple platforms, so I therefore took pause when I contemplated the news that Google acquired Quickoffice the other day. On the one hand, I had a brief bit of sorrow on seeing another independent company absorbed by a much larger entity, but at the same time considered the potential tangible benefits Google’s acquisition might mean for end users like me.
Google’s purchase likely means a better, more streamlined integration with its Google Docs. But let me back up for a moment: I use Microsoft Office products at work and at home, and Google Docs, while a handy way to access documents in the cloud, had a pesky habit of converting my Office documents into its own format—and often changed my doc formatting in the process. I therefore don’t use Google Docs as often as I’d like, while Quickoffice on the other hand was to my mind far less disruptive where formatting was concerned.
Thus the purchase of Quickoffice by Google sounds to me very much like Google wanting to improve the versatility of it office type products in the burgeoning mobile market. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Microsoft has up to this point seemed loathe to migrate its Office suite to non-Windows devices, and with the introduction of Windows 8 tablets slated for later this year likely running a mobile version of Office, it still may not wish to devote the ergs in that endeavor to encourage corporate users to embrace Microsoft-powered tablets.
It does seem a catch-22 for Microsoft: if they do release an Office suite that would run on different mobile platforms, more specifically tablets, why then would anyone currently on those tablets jump ship and get a Windows tablet? On the other hand, if Microsoft doesn’t offer a cross-platform Office suite and Google successfully integrates Quickoffice or a new hybrid of it with Google Docs or Google Drive, once again there won’t be much of an impetus for users to migrate to the Windows tablet platform.
Regardless, Google’s purchase can potentially leverage the existing Quickoffice user base against Microsoft and in all likelihood it will only strengthen their presence in the mobile market.