Quickoffice Coming Bundled With KitKat, Trouble for Microsoft Office?

Yesterday I was poking around the Google Android website for an updated version of their SDK, and stumbled across the KitKat features page.  Starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, Google will begin bundling their Quickoffice software into the update.

Quickoffice is Google’s mobile productivity office suite for the Android operating system.  With the current version of Quickoffice, available from the Google Play Store, you can read and edit Microsoft Office documents from your smartphone or table.

So the question I have is: With free office productivity suites available for both Google Android and Apple iOS, why is Microsoft waiting to get the real deal Office on to people’s devices?  Sure there is an Office Mobile application for the iPhone, but you must already have a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service to use it.  And what about a version optimized for the iPad?

If anything, the automatic deployment of Quickoffice to any Android device that receives the 4.4 KitKat upgrade is putting even more pressure on Microsoft to get Office on more devices.  In the past, Microsoft’s our-platform-or-no-one-elses strategy for Office is really hurting them.  As a business customer, I rely on Microsoft’s Office suite to get my job done, but on smartphones and tablets, I hardly miss them.

And that, I feel, is Microsoft’s problem.  The inclusion of Quickoffice with KitKat alongside of the free Google Docs web application, Google isn’t just going after a mobile productivity suite for mobile, they are working to actively destroy Microsoft’s long establish revenue staple – Office.

Only time will tell if mobile Office document editing will gain any real traction with prosumers or not.

DataViz: No Documents To Go for webOS, Acquired by Research In Motion

Today, DataViz, the makers of Documents To Go, has officially announced that they will not be developing a version of Palm’s webOS platform.

Announced on Facebook, and posted on the DataViz website, the company claims that creating a version of Documents To Go for webOS would be a much larger job than they expected and that the performance of such an application would not be an optimal solution.

“We regret to announce that we have made the difficult decision to not produce a Web OS version of Documents To Go. We understand that our delay in this area has caused much disappointment to our current and very loyal user base. We would like to explain in more detail the reasoning behind our decisions thus far.

Our intention had been to replace the Palm Viewers, which were based on the Documents To Go technology, with a full editing, aftermarket version of Documents To Go. In order to do this in a way that we felt would be most intuitive to users, we wanted to have the full version seamlessly replace the built in viewers. To do this, we needed some technical help from Palm. Because Palm was focusing on other areas at the time (including their very survival), and there was no official information available allowing developers to help ourselves, i.e., an SDK, there was a delay in getting us this information. Rather than do a substantially larger project that would result in a “sub-optimal” user experience, we decided to wait. This wait was much longer than anyone at DataViz expected. During this wait, we focused our efforts on other smartphone platforms, not because we were not loyal to Palm, but because it made “business sense” to do so. We have now come to the realization that it is not in DataViz’ nor our users’ best interests to continue the wait and produce the full version. We understand that another developer has chosen to create an editing Office product for webOS and we wish them the best. Again, we apologize to our users for taking this long to reach, what is for DataViz and many of our users, a disappointing conclusion.”

Back in April, DataViz posted that they were unable to get the support from Palm that was required to properly develop Documents To Go for webOS.  On the surface, it would seem that DataViz has tired of waiting for Palm to get it’s act together.  Personally, I always felt the delay of Documents To Go for webOS was retaliation for the lost of time and money for the late stage cancellation of the Palm Foleo and Documents To Go for the Foleo platform.  The good folks at CrackBerry.com have a better reason: DataViz was acquired by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion!

“More interesting than [canceling Documents To Go for Palm webOS is the] news from DataViz…they didn’t announce….. they were bought by RIM!! Though neither company has publicly announced it (yet), multiple sources have confirmed to us that RIM recently acquired DataViz for a reported $50 million cash (not material to RIM, so they didn’t have to disclose it publicly as they have done with other acquisitions like the QNX one). Jump on to LinkedIn and you can also quickly find that lots of former DataViz employees have recently switched up their profiles to Research In Motion as their current employer.

Yet another interesting acquisition by RIM.”

That leaked screen shot from August 19 showing the QuickOffice icon in a webOS 2.0 screen shot kinda makes a whole lot of sense right now.  I’ll have go dig up my old Palm OS QuickOffice serial number.  I wonder if I am eligible for upgrade pricing?!

You can read the Documents To Go for webOS statement on the DataViz website.

[Via CrackBerry.com…, PreCentral.net…]