Google has released a free tool that would allow users of Microsoft Office to upload their Word files online and to work on them through Google Docs. The move is meant to challenge Microsoft Office’s monopoly in the productivity segment.
Google Docs is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing businesses at Google that is not related to its search engine.
Google Docs offers users the comfort of doing word processing, making spreadsheets, and collaborating on documents online. It is one of the major applications competing against the Microsoft Office application.
Microsoft Office still rules
Microsoft recently put out its new office suite, Office 2010, and a new range of 2010 Web apps.
It goes without saying that most people across the globe still use Microsoft Office for productivity-related tasks, even though use of the free OpenOffice.org suite is growing.
According to Microsoft, most users would prefer to stick to its Office suite.
Most companies too prefer sticking to Microsoft Office because employees are more used to using it than any other office suite.
Though Google Docs is attractive and used by many users, it is yet to see corporate users switching to it. Also, Google Docs is free and far more economical than Microsoft Office, but this has not helped much either.
New plugin to make online collaboration easier
The new tool is basically a plugin that has been released by Google for users of Microsoft Office. The plugin is called Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office.
It has already been available to many testers across the globe, and is likely to be offered for public download later this week. Cloud Connect is available for free to users.
What this plugin does is that it takes the Microsoft Office files and uploads them to Google’s servers, from where users can access it from any internet-enabled device.
Once the files are uploaded, users are given a unique web address which they can use to access their files from anywhere with Google Docs. The uploaded files can also be accessed with Microsoft Office.
The plugin allows easy collaboration among multiple users. Users can share and edit the files at the same time, or comment on the documents which can be seen by anyone.
Cloud Connect is so named because the files stay online on Google’s servers, in the “cloud” so to speak.
According to Microsoft, most users would prefer to stick to its Office suite. Well, time will tell.