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Why wait for Google's DocVerse? OffiSync already hooks Office to Docs [Updated]

March 9, 2010 |  4:58 pm

Offisync
When Google announced last week that it had purchased DocVerse, a program that lets Microsoft Office users work together on documents, it alluded to perhaps adding integration with its Web-based Docs productivity suite.

In the meantime, OffiSync already allows users to collaborate between the two programs and plans to continue driving development while Google's newest acquisition tries to catch up.

OffiSync lets you store files "in the cloud" (i.e., on Google's servers) accessible via Google Docs' website interface or in a more advanced file structure offered by another Google application called Sites. An OffiSync user can make changes to a Word document alongside someone working on the Docs platform in a browser.

[Updated, March 10, 12:17 a.m. OffiSync was listed within the top five most installed products on Google's new Apps Marketplace just hours after the directory launched.]

For Google to go after DocVerse rather than the Docs-friendly OffiSync is smart business, wrote OffiSync Chief Executive Oudi Antebi in an e-mail.

OffiSync appeals to those who already use Docs because it requires a Google account. DocVerse, however, plugs directly into Office to instantly connect colleagues. There are many more businesses relying on Microsoft Office than ones looking to connect the two apps.

"Everybody has Office," Antebi said on the phone recently. "It's going to take many, many years to replace Microsoft Office."

OffiSync is better for those already looking to make the transition easier. DocVerse is for those cozy in Microsoft's software.

"Even if you don't want to replace Office, there is still a great value to Google Docs and storing things on the cloud," Antebi said.

A premium version of OffiSync costs $12 per year and includes features such as automatic file synchronization. DocVerse is closed to new users "until we’re ready to share what's next," Google's Jonathan Rochelle wrote in a company blog post. But it's likely that Google will offer it free, as it does with practically all of its products.

[Updated, 5:36 p.m. Clarified OffiSync's pricing.]

-- Mark Milian
twitter.com/markmilian

Image: OffiSync

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