Friday, March 10, 2006

Google buys Writely (and its effect on OpenOffice)

Google has purchased Writely, an online word processor accessible through Windows and Mac using the Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox browsers.

At first I thought this might be bad news for Google's partnership with Sun and the latter's free OpenOffice word processor (and the possibility that Google would help create an online version of OO) but maybe not.

Writely already supports importing and exporting OO documents (in addition to Microsoft Word documents) and I expect Google will continue this and more. Perhaps they could add seamless functionality to OO that allows one to load and save documents to a Writely workspace? And then edit these documents via OO or Writely? In any case I see this as a plus for OO and the move to have an open document standard replace the proprietary MS Word.

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