Google, still pushing the cloud for its productivity apps, today acquired a small startup called DocVerse, which has developed a plug-in to bring online collaboration tools to Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the desktop.
The key here, of course, is the transition. Some business customers have been a bit squeamish about moving from desktop software they're familiar with to a full cloud strategy. By incorporating cloud capabilities into desktop software, users not only get a taste of the extras the cloud can offer but also are able to immediately start benefiting from those cloud-based collaboration that increase productivity. In a blog post, the company explains:
The future of productivity applications is in the cloud. We've always believed the web is the best platform for creating and sharing information, and Google Docs has already helped millions of people become more productive. But we recognize that many people are still accustomed to desktop software. So as we continue to improve Google Docs and Google Sites as rich collaboration tools, we’re also making it easier for people to transition to the cloud, and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office.
Current DocVerse customers can continue to use the service as usual but Google has suspended new sign-ups "until we're ready to share what's next."