Google has paid $25 million for a startup site called DocVerse, which lets users collaborate on Microsoft Word documents online. DocVerse allows for online editing and saving. In the announcement, Google says the service will make it "easier for people to transition to the cloud, and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office."
From Google's blog:
DocVerse is a small, nimble team of talented developers who share our vision, and they've enabled true collaboration right within Microsoft Office. 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.
The deal comes ahead of a free, Intenet version of Office that Microsoft is expected to release this spring.
By acquiring the startup, Google also adds major talent to its Google Docs team; DocVerse co-founder Shan Sinha drove product strategy for Microsoft's SharePoint and SQL Server and co-founder Alex DeNeui drove SQL Server's web strategy.