Google's Acquisition - The Quick And Suite Version
Chad is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
In a recent report, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) reported that it purchased the tablet and smartphone centered QuickOffice. This acquisition gives Google not only another weapon against Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), but also quickly makes Google very relevant when it comes to mobile productivity. I don't know that this acquisition has received enough press, and I don't believe it's an overstatement to say, Microsoft and even Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are in trouble when it comes to mobile office applications.
What is QuickOffice?
With more than 400 million devices running QuickOffice, you may have already heard of the app, but if you haven't, here is a short rundown. QuickOffice is one app that allows the user to create and edit essentially any type of document you can think of. In addition, QuickOffice has built in compatibility with multiple online storage solutions like Google Docs, Dropbox, and Box.net to name a few. You can also share your work with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. It's available through the iTunes or Google Play stores for somewhere between $15 and $20. You could even make the argument that it is the preferred office suite of the mobile world.
How Does It Compare To Microsoft Office and Apple's Software?
To be blunt, if you need to create or edit documents on your mobile device, there isn't a better option. Even if Microsoft creates a mobile version of Microsoft Office it will be too late. Mobile users don't need every single editing tool possible. What they do need, are the major tools that are most commonly used. In addition, QuickOffice is improving all the time. In the last several versions, items that have been added are: the ability to save in PDF format, new fonts, word count, freeze pane in Excel, merged cells, and more.
Since Microsoft doesn't have a mobile office program, the 400 million users who already have QuickOffice are getting more and more of what they want all the time. Where Apple is concerned, I will say from personal use, QuickOffice is more compatible, and more user friendly than either the mobile version of Numbers or Pages. I've tried both, and the synching with Dropbox and other cloud servers is a killer app feature. Going forward, I would fully expect Google to push Google Drive as a compatible cloud server for QuickOffice. In particular, since Google Docs doesn't interact well with Office formatting and files on mobile devices, you should see the best features of Google Docs and QuickOffice shared between platforms to make each other better.
The main reason an application like QuickOffice is such a big deal is the growth and persistent move toward mobile productivity. When you read comments on the iTunes store about QuickOffice like, “I just need X added to this app to throw my laptop in the trash,” or “great companion to get work done on the road,” you know that users are happy with the experience. Considering that just last year, there were nearly 500 million smartphones shipped globally, you can see the market for QuickOffice is vast. The addressable market is even larger if you add in the tablet toting segment of the population. Microsoft has now had several years to come up with a competitive mobile office suite and it has not happened. Apple's mobile office suite leaves a lot to be desired. QuickOffice is a good fit for Google and should provide 'suite' returns.
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