Google, which already makes the most popular smartphone operating system among field service technicians, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the mobile app Quickoffice, a program that allows users to edit, share, and save files from Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, from their phones.
The deal is important for mobile workers, given the overwhelming popularity of Microsoft’s Office suite and the number of people who rely on those programs to create and share documents. In the past, Microsoft’s program hadn’t been available for most mobile phone and tablet users — it’ll be unveiled shortly when Microsoft releases its Windows 8 operating system.
Instead, users that wanted to pull up and edit, say, an Excel spreadsheet while away from their desks either had to download a separate app like Quickoffice to do so, or else use Google Docs to convert the file and read it. By gobbling up Quickoffice, Google will be able to let Android users wean themselves off Microsoft’s software almost entirely, whether on their phone, tablet, or personal computer, and create an easy way for people to access their files from the field.
Quickoffice has been installed on 300 million devices, according to the company.
As ZD Net’s Larry Dignan pointed out, the move also strikes a preliminary blow against Windows 8: