Google trying to buy Microsoft Office clone?

Google trying to buy Microsoft Office clone?

Summary: Google is reportedly looking to buy a Korean company that's known as a Microsoft Office clone. According to a report by Vnunet.

TOPICS: Google

Google is reportedly looking to buy a Korean company that's known as a Microsoft Office clone.

According to a report by in Taipei, Google is trying to buy ThinkFree, a Korea-based company that builds and office suite that mimics Microsoft Office.

Vnunet reports:

The Google team that handled the recent purchase of YouTube has met twice this month with representatives of ThinkFree Corp, according to Jong-jin Baek, the president of ThinkFree's parent company, Haansoft

Three things are notable here:

1. If true, Google would be adding to its productivity software portfolio, which already includes Writely, a Web spreadsheet (Google Doc & Spreadsheets) and JotSpot, neither of which are serious competitors to Microsoft Office. ThinkFree would be a major hedge, or bring more direct confrontation with Microsoft. First, Google buys Writely, then creates spreadsheets and then buys Jotspot, which was supposed to be the foundation for a Google Office. ThinkFree is a much more polished product, and touts its compatibility with Microsoft Office. Talk about spreading your office software bets.

2. ThinkFree may be the only company on the planet reluctant to sell to Google. Hello? A stock price worth $481 translated into won. Ka-ching. 

3. Are Google's existing office software pieces too difficult to integrate? Perhaps tying Google's acquired office parts into a suite is hard to pull off.  More likely, if the story is true, Google has formally decided to take on Microsoft on its own turf and is directing its other Office-like products and audiences that don't need industrial strength productivity tools.  If that's the case it would make some sense if Google dropped some stock on ThinkFree. It's probably more palatable to buy a company that blatantly mimics Microsoft Office instead of building a copycat suite from scratch.

And there's no denying that ThinkFree is a well endowed copycat. See this gallery. Those icons look familiar eh?

Topic: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Irrelevant!

    There are already alternative office suites. In fact, not only is this not a plus...but it's a minus for GOOG. Cuz who in their right mind *buys* an alternative to M$ Office when the leading alternative, OpenOffice, is free??
  • Google buying OFFICE clone?

    Google has become the success story of the 21st century, so far. The seem to be the White Knight buying up & protecting small open source web content & software companies from the 1000 pound gorilla, MS, & the smaller but still huge conglomerates such as ATT & Verizon; Yahoo, AOL, & MSN; The Sonys, GEs, & Rupert Murdochs. The execs who are trying to control the information markets &/or censor their content.

    Then our author here is credulous concerning Think Free's rejection of Google's takeover offer. "Hello? KACHING", he states. What are you thinking? DUH ! Money is a long way from being 1st place in the value systems of a few of us, thank God. Just possibly they want their company to follow their own vision, not that of the guys at Google. If Google acquires them, there will shortly be one less available office application available to the rest of us, since they already control a couple others. Competition is again stifled, even though unintentionally. Maybe they just don't trust the intentions of the guys at Google, or trust their vision more.

    Of the Information Age conglomerates, I trust the folks at Google the most. Still, at news of each new acquisition, I wonder how well placed that trust is. Since their ISP, we have all watched them follow the same model of acquisition as their monopolistic competition. OK. Their content is no cost, so what's the big deal? The deal is, somebody has to pay the bills. Their entire revenue comes from advertising & increasing stock value. The larger they grow, the more ad revenue they need to stay solvent, & the pool of contributers is shrinking. This is a sure path to censorship unless they change their business model. Maybe it is time to move away from KACHING, guys. Hopefully, that move is in the works.

    The Net is the last bastion of uncensored news. The mainstream press has been taken over outright by the very people they used to warn us of. The Pentagon Papers. Iran-Contra. Watergate. Mainstream media is out of the big expose game because they sold out to the wolves they used to warn us of. We still hear about Foley & Hastert, & other minor revelations. But where were they when the 9/11 Commission was packed with the very people they were supposed to be investigating? Section 2, page 15. 2 1/2 column inches. Bob Woodward, our hero of the 70s, is now part of the very structure he spoke against. I am sure he earned his current position, but I'm equally sure it was offered to shut him up. KACHING.

    Yesterday, I read an article from the Sept 11. 2006 edition of the small town, Naples, FL newspaper about the secret vote the 9/11 Commission took concerning prosecutions of certain Admin. witnesses for perjury before the Commission. The narrow vote sent the investigation of those witnesses back to the Depts they headed or worked in. Did you know of it? Without an uncensored web, I would not have. This time, KACHING failed to keep me ignorant.
    bob in FL
    • Then I would suggest

      that you read up more closely on Google.
      They no longer apear to be the "White Knight" that you have imagined.

      Do you really trust any obe company holding all the personal information available on you? Google has clearly stated that it their goal.
  • Google Needs to Break Internet Explorer

    It is long past time for Google to attack and destory Internet Explorer. OpenOffice can cause enough trouble for Microsoft Office for the time being.

    How to break IE?


    Redirect all queries to Google from IE browsers to a Mozilla download page with instructions stating that Google can't process queries from IE - and that users will have to use Firefox.

    MSFT would do it in a heartbeat if it had the dominant search engine.

    Schmidt needs to use everything at his disposal to make MSFT technologies unusable or irrelevant.

    • I would imagine the lawsuit

      would be enough to hurt either company. DOJ splitting up Google? It would happen quite quickly if Google (or the other companies that have a search feature of their own) started anything like that.

      Though now that Google has been forced to show it's true colors when it applies to "do no evil, Google would try something like this in a second.

      But then, what would stop a Comcast or some other ISP from blocking access to Google's sites if someone paid them to?

      That is why the DOJ would never allow these ideas to happen