Google Buys Writely

Confirming what I read on GigaOM a couple of days ago, it has been officially announced that Google has now bought Upstartle, the company behind the cool online word processor Writely, taking the search giant even deeper into Microsoft’s turf.

Writely is a web based, ajax enhanced application that lets users compose documents directly on the Web, collaborate on them with others and share them either privately or publicly. So with Google acquiring them, Google is going into direct competition with Microsoft Office Word, making it unnecessary to have an installed Word processor.

I’ve used Writely before, and in fact the blogging presentation we held in Zaghouan was mostly worked out through our collaboration on the document online through the site.
I personally think it’s a very neat tool and really well done.

It’s interesting how it seems that Google’s strategy, to strip away Microsoft’s stronghold on office productivity software, is by taking all these functionalities and making them available online.
We’re also hearing about new products like a calendar (CL2) and online drive (G:Drive) coming up soon.

But how successful would these really be?
I mean, other then the privacy concerns that everyone should have, especially after the US government subpoena to Google and the other search engines for their users’ search information, there is also the issue of having to always be connected, with a good connection too, to use and access all this stuff. This brings us to the issue of internet and broadband penetration and who the user base will mainly consist of.

Personally, I see this as being the way to go, as we become more and more connected, it’ll become more and more easy for our information to be accessible for us from anywhere we go, and at any time of the day.

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