Google Fetching DocVerse — Targets Microsoft Office

December 24, 2009 0

Mountain View, California — Google, which is reportedly busy tracking valuable start-ups, it seems that the Mountain View, company may be on the brink of acquiring yet again another company. This time the search giant is eying a San Francisco based DocVerse, a service that enables users to collaborate around Microsoft Office documents, according to source with knowledge of the deal.

According to published reports from various sources, this deal would be the latest in a string of acquisitions by Google, which recently pledged to make around one acquisition a month. This acquisition could strengthen Google’s recent Appjet purchase. Appjet is the maker of Etherpad, which also offers Microsoft Office collaboration capabilities. Google is reportedly shelling out about US $25 million for the startup.

Interestingly, DocVerse is a product Google is likely to keep. The start up, which was established in 2007 by Microsoft veterans Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui. with Sinha was associated with Microsoft’s SharePoint and SQL Server, while DeNui was worked on Microsoft SQL Server web strategy.

DocVerse officially commenced on Oct. 28 to serve the 600 million Office users searching for a better option to edit and share Microsoft documents. With DocVerse Google will have a direct software connection to Microsoft Office, making it easy to share and edit Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. Commentators say the acquisition could be a tactical move aimed at enhancing the Google Docs and Google Wave collaboration tools by making them compatible with Microsoft formats.

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, commented on the reported acquisition as “interesting”. Although DocVerse was established by ex-Microsoft veterans, he said, the technological idea, with its cloud and collaboration capabilities, is very much analogous with Google Wave and Google’s efforts with its Apps and Docs suites.

“This also appears like a tool that will make Google Docs and Apps more useful in recognition of the fact that most people for the predictable future are going to be using Microsoft Office,” Sterling said. “Yet this speeds the transition to the cloud and provides a bridge of sorts between Microsoft Office and Google Docs.”

Of course, Microsoft is also moving in similar direction with Office 2010, which will in effect combat Google Docs. DocVerse is a add-in for Microsoft Office that changes the suite of productivity applications into web-enabled collaboration tools and allows real-time sharing and simultaneous group editing of documents. Microsoft released the beta version of Office 2010 in November with hopes that millions of people would download and test the product and offer feedback.

Nevertheless Google, which has gobbled up a string of large and small acquisitions in recent months, and has already shown an interest in expanding its collaboration offering. It bought AppJet earlier this month and plans to use the team behind AppJet’s EtherPad real-time collaboration platform to boost the development of Google Wave.

Although the deal has not been finalized as yet, it is already in the works. So Google might announce this purchase probably in the coming week.

DocVerse has raised just  $1.3 million, in 2008, from  Baseline Ventures, Harrison Metal Capital and  Naval Ravikant.