Google Tool to Move Microsoft Files to Web
Google Inc., taking aim at Microsoft Corp.’s lucrative Office franchise, plans to release a free tool allowing users to transfer files from the widely used software suite to the Web so that multiple people can edit and collaborate on them.
The long-anticipated move is intended to bolster one of Google’s fastest-growing businesses not related to its popular search engine–selling online software to companies. The company’s Google Apps offering includes online word-processing, spreadsheet and collaboration tools used through a Web browser that are part of a service called Google Docs. They compete with Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Though Google Apps comes in free and paid versions that are much less expensive than Office, some customers have resisted using them because employees are accustomed to Office.
Google plans to formally introduce the new Google tool, called Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, later this week after releasing it to early testers in November.