June 5, 2012
Google just bought QuickOffice. I think that means they now get the App Internet and are moving beyond pure Web.
The App Internet is the future of software architecture and the foundation of how people get stuff on their mobile devices (we call that mobile engagement). The App Internet means native (or hybrid HTML5) apps on mobile and desktop devices that use the Internet to get services. It's the native app that makes the user experience good. It's the Internet that makes the user experience relevant to life.
Google has been "pure Web," meaning that they don't want native apps on any device. Of course, they've been moving slowly away from that pure architecture for years now even as its marketing rhetoric has denied it. Remember that when iPhone shipped in 2007 it had a native Google app called Maps on it. And they have readers on their Android devices.
In the meantime, QuickOffice has been growing handily because it gets the App Internet — any device, anywhere, anytime using a native app. If you want to read or edit Microsoft Office formats on your iPad or Android phone or whatever, you can do it with QuickOffice. That has led consumers and information workers and sometimes entire enterprises (in the case of one life sciences company with 15,000 iPads deployed, for example) to use QuickOffice to access and edit the critical documents they need on their tablets.
What does this mean?
- For Google, it means they've woken up to embrace the App Internet as the way to deliver great user experiences on mobile devices.
- For Microsoft, it means Google has done another "embrace and extend" play to take keystrokes away from Microsoft Office. And that ahead of Microsoft's purported but unannounced plans to port Office to iPad.
- For enterprise CIOs, it means that going Google will be easier with Office document support on iPad. (It does not mean buy QuickOffice instead of Microsoft Office!) It also means that your employees will do another consumerization of IT round by using Google instead of QuickOffice to edit documents on mobile devices.
Do you think this means Google now gets the App Internet?