Writely or wrongly, Google buys Upstartle

Finally putting meat on the bones of those long-held rumours that Google would come out with some sort of web-based office applications suite, Google quietly revealed that it has bought Upstartle, a beta-stage Silicon Valley firm that was on course to release a word processing software service that can be used via the web.

So at least one Goomour – the new term for a rumour about Google – looks set to come to fruition. I and others mulled over the idea of a Google office suite in September last year, and a lot of people said it was a crazy notion. Not so crazy, it seems.

Upstartle was six months into a public beta test of Writely.com, which billed itself as “The Web Word Processor”, offering users the ability to upload or create documents and edit them with a familiar WYSIWYG interface. The most obvious place to start speculating is where this places Google competitively against Microsoft. Could a move to web-based word processing eat into sales of Office, one of Microsoft’s biggest cash cows, for example?

Read CBR’s full take on the news here.

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