Google’s Acquisition of Upstartle – Writely So
Look out Microsoft, Google has purchased the company Upstartle. Upstartle is the maker of Writely – which is an online document processing tool or simply put; a browser based version of MS Office. The move was rumored yesterday by Om Malik, and has now been confirmed by a posting on the Google Blog by Jen Mazzon of the Google Writely Team:
“For the last five months, I’ve been part of a Silicon Valley startup called Upstartle, which makes Writely, a collaborative word processor that runs in a web browser. Well, as of Monday, I’m happy to say that I, and the rest of the Writely team, are now part of Google.”
Like many other Google projects, Writely is currently in BETA and has a fairly loyal group of testers/users. And, as with any small intimate company (apparently Jen handles most of their customer service herself) which is bought by a larger one, there are worries among users in terms of advertising, changes look & feel, and privacy concerns.
The Writely Team quickly addressed these concerns after announcing the Google acquisition:
When will the site look different?
Not for a while. If you’re registered, and you want updates on our progress, make sure you’ve got “Announcements” turned on in your Settings. You can also check out our Blog for our team musings.
Will you start showing Google ads in my documents?
There are currently no plans to add advertising to the site. If that changes, we’ll let folks know.
Will I have to register with Google to use the site?
Maybe in time, but not now.
Will my documents be as private and secure with Google?
YES. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security and privacy of your documents. Google is known for having the same attitude — that’s one of the reasons we’re so excited to be working with them.
Writely has also published the “Top 10” reasons why being part of Google is fantastic for Writely and the Writely team:
10. Writely is like a caterpillar that we hope to make into a beautiful butterfly at Google!
9. We love Google’s philosophy and values — especially “Focus on the user.”
8. We’re as passionate as Google is about respecting users’ privacy.
7. Many of our users are already Google fans using other Google services.
6. Being at Google will help us do more great things faster.
5. Some people didn’t feel comfortable trusting a tiny startup with their documents…and we’re no longer a tiny startup.
4. We like lava lamps and they’re pretty much standard decor at Google.
3. Three words: Free Googleplex lunches 😉
2. As fun as it’s been to launch a popular, global, 24×7 Web service, it’ll be nice to take a vacation once in a while!
…and the number one reason???
1. We’ll be able to bring Writely to not just thousands but millions of users — the more, the merrier 🙂
Writely seems like a perfect fit in Google’s quest to host the world’s content and adds a cutting edge service to Google’s browser oriented desktop world of blogging, Gmail, search and Sidebar. In order to try out Writely, the browser based document processing app which can be used to edit and create OpenDocument, Word, PDF and RTF files and blog posting, you’ll have to enter a waiting list which states “We have closed off new registrations until we move Writely to Google’s systems.” Hmm, sounds a bit familiar.