Google acquires Writely

In today’s Globe and Mail, Mathew Ingram discusses Google’s acquisition of Writely, a web-based word processor.

This acquisition obviously positions Google to offer an online competitive offering to Microsoft’s $400 Word offering. While there are some downsides to using Web-based applications (such as the fact that they stop working if your Internet access is down, and privacy issues when data is being saved somewhere else), there are also a number of advantages (no upgrades to perform, no bloated client-side application to run, off-site archiving, easier collaboration on documents with remote parties – Writely also offers version control/history functionality). According to the FAQ on Writely’s site, there are no current plans to add advertising. Instead, the current model appears to be free access to basic features and a subscription fee for premium features (such as PDF exporting – hey isn’t that built into WordPerfect and aren’t there free PDF publishing tools around?).