Google Inc. (GOOG) announced that it has acquired Quickoffice for an undisclosed amount. Plano, Texas-based Quickoffice makes mobile productivity software for consumers and businesses.
Quickoffice software is used for editing, viewing and creating Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on Android, iOS, and Symbian mobile devices. The company has its software installation in over 300 million devices worldwide in more than 180 countries.
Though Google is a market leader in online advertising, it has been trying to explore the mobile space and compete with Microsoft (MSFT) and others by offering its own suite of Office-like programs that are accessible on the Internet. A few applications like Google Docs are free of cost, while some sophisticated versions, called Google Apps, are sold in subscription packages costing $50 annually per user.
By bringing the Quickoffice superior software to its own Apps product suite, Google will be better positioned to compete against Microsoft and others in the mobile space. The deal will increase the number of business users, particularly the corporate tablet users, most of whom rely on Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad and could easily become iCloud-dependent.
This is Google's second purchase specifically related to Microsoft Office interoperability. In March 2010, Google bought DocVerse, a start-up that makes software for cloud-based collaboration in Microsoft Office applications. In fact, the Internet search engine is on an acquisition spree.
This week, Google acquired the popular chat service Meebo for around $100 million. Very recently, Google closed its acquisition of cell phone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (:MMI) for $12.5 billion ($40 a share). In 2011, Google bought at least 26 companies.
Google has done very well in the first quarter, with its gross revenue touching a record $10.65 billion. Revenues from both Google-owned and partner sites continued to grow double digits on a year-over-year basis. Historically, Google has always fared better than Yahoo Inc (YHOO), which has been struggling to uphold itself, and Microsoft, which has yet to gain critical mass.
However, other legal entanglements related to competitive matters or patent infringements remain an overhang, keeping the Zacks Rank on Google shares at #3, which translates into a short-term Hold recommendation.
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