Friday, March 10, 2006

Today Writely, Tomorrow...?

Writely, everyone's favorite online collaborative word processor has just announced its acquisition by Google! Nice work Writely.

Now, late last year I emailed Writely to beg, plead, and otherwise demand they develop a similarly collaborative online spreadsheet. At the time they said one was in the works for release in 2006... So perhaps the Google Online Office suite is closer than we think!

In any case, it looks like Google is taking a functional approach to expansion, slowly introducing social aspects, where Yahoo! has dived in to the social scene buying popular properties like Flickr and Google seems focused on 'practical' applications that solve known problems, like a calendar, word processor, analytics tools, and a database -- where Yahoo! are going wherever the roaming hoards of teens lead them. Which approach will be more successful isn't yet clear, but the different approaches may help explain the differing public perceptions each company currently enjoys.

In the end though, it's safe to say both companies will release whichever products bring in the best advertising revenue, so the smart money still says Google will be releasing or purchasing a social bookmark application before too long.

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