Well, the news is out. Google has acquired Writely – The web word processor. I expected this to happen, but when I read about it for the first time at TechCrunch, I was little bit skeptical due to my experience with the Technorati acquisition rumor. I wrote about Technorati acquisition in this blog and then only realized that it was just a bit of Google Juice.
Now that both Google and Writely have confirmed the acquisition I can put down my thoughts on this acquisition.
When the rumor was out at Techcrunch, lot of people were of the view that Google doesn’t need to acquire Writely, but can build an in-house web word processor by just using the Gmail and blogger code as the base. But I think that Google did this not because of its inability to code but just to keep its competitors away.
I have been using Writely for nearly 4 months now and I should say that I am a satisfied user. The main reason for me to choose Writely was the ability to share my documents between my home and office computers. I was also using Writely to jolt down notes as and when I found something interesting when I am hooked on to the net. Previously I used to compose a mail in Gmail and then save it in the draft or send an email to myself to share my documents and notes between my home and office computers.
With Google Calendar under beta testing I think Google is going to roll out lot of features with this merge. Some of them could include the integration of Writely with Gmail for composing and the ability to open & store attached word documents in Gmail with Writely and the possibilities could be endless. So as a user of both Writely and Gmail I am very much happy about the merge and I am looking for some cool features in the future. It’s just a matter of time before they buy or develop the online Spreadsheet like NumSum and integrate it with Google Calendar and Writely to provide a full fledged online Office suite, the dreadful Microsoft Office killer.
But this doesn’t stop me from being skeptical about the possible privacy issues. I some how get a feeling that people have started to believe Google too much. But whether Google is keeping the belief is a different story. For instance right now Google know who are my friends (Orkut), my email correspondence (Gmail), my conversations with others (Google Talk), the web pages I search for (Search History), the feeds that I read (Google Reader) and now all my documents (Writely). Will Google keep up their motto “Don’t do evil”? I don’t know, but let’s hope they keep it up.