Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Sep 2013 19:53 UTC
Google

Starting today we’re making Quickoffice for Android and iOS available for free, for everyone. With Quickoffice, you can edit Microsoft Office documents across your devices, giving you the freedom to work with anyone no matter what hardware or software they’re using. Plus, it’s integrated with Google Drive storage so you can safely access your files from anywhere.

And unlike Microsoft Office, it's completely free. Good move by Google.

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andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

That this occurs often enough to sustain a market for such applications is blowing my mind. Will I be a 'legacy' user one day for preferring a keyboard with actual keys and a screen at least the size of a sheet of printer paper for editing documents?

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

This might blow your mind, but some Android devices (like Asus Transformers) have keyboards. There's also bluetooth.

BTW: Is this app actually free, or is it ad-supported? Big difference.

Reply Score: 10

aligatro Member since:
2010-01-28

This might blow your mind, but some Android devices (like Asus Transformers) have keyboards. There's also bluetooth.

BTW: Is this app actually free, or is it ad-supported? Big difference.


Just tried it on my TF101 and there are no ads. I don't like that it forces me to link to my google account in order to be able to even start using this program.

As for usability, its about the same as other android office programs out there. However, I prefer the one that comes with TF101 more though.

Also, not that I want to complain about free stuff, but I think this is actually a bad move by Google. They are essentially killing the small guys that try to sell their office apps.

Edited 2013-09-19 20:24 UTC

Reply Score: 5

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Also, not that I want to complain about free stuff, but I think this is actually a bad move by Google. They are essentially killing the small guys that try to sell their office apps.


Or, you can look at it the other way - the people who were selling QuickOffice got rich because Google bought their product.

Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don't - that's business.

I'm sure the other vendors are working on making their products more competitive than Quickoffice so that they can remain viable - if they can't do that, then they should focus their efforts on other products.

There's no guarantee that you'll make money if you produce an app in a competitive market.

Microsoft has been practicing this exact same strategy for decades, and it certainly hasn't been "bad" for them.

Reply Score: 7

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Microsoft has been practicing this exact same strategy for decades, and it certainly hasn't been "bad" for them

MS have been punished for the same practice.

Reply Score: 1

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

Punished how?

Reply Score: 1

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Punished how?

97% desktop marketshare and huge profits

Reply Score: 6

chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

MS have been punished for the same practice.

Microsoft has been punished for illegal anti-competitive bundling of software, which is why we have Windows N editions and the browser choice screen. But not for providing software for free, or buying companies.

Reply Score: 4

satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

Microsoft has been practicing this exact same strategy for decades, and it certainly hasn't been "bad" for them

MS have been punished for the same practice.

Yes, but not enough. So the lack of proper punishment encourages others to do the same.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Not necissarily. Google Drive/Docs (free) did compete with quick office ( not free). It wasn't much of a competition, quick office was much much better. Google couldn't beat them, so it bought them. If there is a group of engineers who think they can do a better job, the opportunity is there.

Reply Score: 5

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

lol, the world is bizarre, those are the same kind of excuses MS offered.

Edited 2013-09-19 21:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I don't get it. Did Microsoft have a free version of Office or windows that got killed by a paid version?

The only close example I can think of would be the Browser wars where IE 4 was free, but netscape was still $50. Netscape didn't win due to the price difference and the requirement for OEMs that IE always be carried with the windows.


Is Google Requiring the App come pre-installed on android? I don't think google docs/drive ever was, but provided as a free app install.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ie vs Netscape is the same, but with Netscape wining and then MS buying netscape.

That isn't what happened. Instead of arguing weather this is exactly what happened, its more productive to consider if its a good thing, indipendant of what other companies have done in the past.

So, Is it a good thing that people were willing to pay for a product over a freely available alternative?

Yes, yes it is.

Does this mean that other companies that want to compete with free google offerings have a chance at success?

Maybe. Probably not in this particular market of productivity apps for mobile. But that's mainly because quickoffice is so good. It could happen in other arenas.

But also, maybe not. Other companies might not be willing to compete in a new area if they think that Google is just going to buy there way into the market? Maybe? Not really sure that is a negative, but it could be.

Side Note: What I want, what I always only want is a good discussion of the issues, not a summary dismissal or reaffirmation of what I already believe. So stop destroying conversations with petty rejoinders.

Reply Score: 6

pooo Member since:
2006-04-22

MS did exactly this with IE and people definitely whined. They disrupted the, at the time, for-pay browser market so completely that they were the only game in town for years after.

Having said that, especially in light of all the legitimately evil things MS did to the software market, I always found this particular gripe to be pretty limp. The big crime with IE wasn't giving it away or bundling it, it was pressuring OEMs into using only IE and then using their market position to break the entire web.

Reply Score: 5

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Not quite. MS didn't merely bundle IE for free with Windows, they spliced it into the OS in a way that made removal by end users a nearly hopeless proposition. They also subverted the HTML landscape by introducing proprietary HTML features (quickly copied, but disruptive nonetheless). Combined with the anticompetitive OEM "deals" to only ship IE, it was a concerted effort to force their userbase to use IE.

All these machinations and relentless backstabbing because they feared Netscape would become a platform that made Windows obsolete. Ironically, it is Google's Chrome that is doing exactly what MS feared back then, only 20 years later.

MS could have gone scott free, if they had just bundled IE with Windows in a removable fashion and hadn't forced OEM's to only ship IE.

When it comes to Google QuickOffice, I've not seen any signs that Google is going to force phone manufacturers to ship it, nor any indication that QuickOffice will be spliced into Android.

Yes, it probably sucks for a lot of developers, who dabbled in developing basic document editing on Android in the hope to make a few bucks. That said, for free offerings are not illegal and Google leaves it up to the end user to use QuickOffice or not. If you want to make a buck on document editing on Android, the new baseline is QuickOffice and your product needs to be better if you hope people will pay for it.

Reply Score: 7

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I don't get it. Did Microsoft have a free version of Office or windows that got killed by a paid version?


I wasn't referring to Office precisely - although there are features in Office that Microsoft purchased from ISVs and integrated into the suite over the years.

I was thinking of various tools included in DOS/Windows over the years - things like EMM386, DriveSpace - even stripped down apps like Write/WordPad, the increasingly featured windows calculator, media playback/editing software, cd burning features, etc.

Microsoft is continually purchasing technologies from companies and then incorporating them into their products for free - despite numerous paid-for apps already available in that space.

At least Google gave the competition a year of warning - everyone must have known they were going to release it for free as that's their usual business model.

Reply Score: 4

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I've met some teenagers who can touch-type on their phones faster than they can on a real desktop/laptop keyboard. I'm talking almost pro-typist fast here. Scary but true.

Reply Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Nice to see i'm not the only one scratching my head. I mean why in the world would you want to edit Word docs on a phone or a tablet? Talk about the wrong tool for the job, on screen keyboards have never been great and watching folks use them i have seen how quickly they can slow you to a crawl.

I suppose if enough people just refuse to put down their phone long enough to use anything else there will be a niche for software like this but for me? that is what the netbook is for.

Reply Score: 3

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Nice to see i'm not the only one scratching my head. I mean why in the world would you want to edit Word docs on a phone or a tablet? Talk about the wrong tool for the job, on screen keyboards have never been great and watching folks use them i have seen how quickly they can slow you to a crawl.


The bluetooth keyboard I got for my tablet is quite nice to use.

Besides that, Android can run on plenty of non-tablet devices. The ASUS Transformer Prime even comes with a detachable keyboard.

My wife stores some of her business details (spreadsheets mostly) on Google Drive, and then accesses them from multiple devices including the tablet. This allows her to 'travel light' while still being able to access and edit business documents.

Reply Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

But how many tablets have a keyboard? Last figures I saw had that at less than 5%, most folks just don't ever buy them and even with the Transformer they sell something like 4 tablets for every keyboard.

So while I'm glad it works for you, just as I'm happy with hexacore PCs but that doesn't make either of us the majority or even a significant minority and the data shows most are using touch only tablets and for inputting text? those just suck.

Reply Score: 2

hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

That this occurs often enough to sustain a market for such applications is blowing my mind. Will I be a 'legacy' user one day for preferring a keyboard with actual keys and a screen at least the size of a sheet of printer paper for editing documents?

Yes, you will. The whole computer industry is being pushed towards small mobile devices. That means no "space" for a keyboard and instead a 5 to 7" screen that you can easily take anywhere. The reasoning behind this is placing end users in an environment where they only do "quick" tasks just as opening one website, checking email, etc..
While this opens computers to a bigger variety of consumers, it will eventually make people go back to legacy devices due to lack of productivity in new devices.
For instance, let us look at LG's 23" touch monitors and try using an on screen keyboard. Your wrist will suffer a lot being raised all the time to press letters on the screen. it is more comfortable to type on a keyboard laid on the desktop while looking at a screen vertically in front of you.

Reply Score: 2

v ...
by Hiev on Thu 19th Sep 2013 20:05 UTC
RE: ...
by Fergy on Fri 20th Sep 2013 09:36 UTC in reply to "..."
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

mmm, Giving aways producs below cost to terminate with the competence, I smell anti-competivie behavior and prolly legal punishment for this.

What other product is there?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by BushLin on Fri 20th Sep 2013 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26
RE[3]: ...
by umccullough on Fri 20th Sep 2013 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26
RE[2]: ...
by Temcat on Sat 21st Sep 2013 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

Softmaker Office 2012.

Reply Score: 2

They are actually decent.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 19th Sep 2013 20:44 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I paid for both the phone and tablet version. They were worth the cost. This new version is even better. Good job google. It sucks that it took this long, but you can actually be somewhat effectively productive on a smart phone. Actually producing, rather than just consuming.

While, I could be angry that everyone gets what I paid for earlier, I'm so glad its usable and actually makes me more productive, I consider my earlier payment a good investment.

Reply Score: 4

RE: They are actually decent.
by Fergy on Fri 20th Sep 2013 09:37 UTC in reply to "They are actually decent. "
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I paid for both the phone and tablet version. They were worth the cost. This new version is even better. Good job google. It sucks that it took this long, but you can actually be somewhat effectively productive on a smart phone. Actually producing, rather than just consuming.

While, I could be angry that everyone gets what I paid for earlier, I'm so glad its usable and actually makes me more productive, I consider my earlier payment a good investment.

I am looking forward to just buying a small keyboard and using my smartphone to type up some documents instead of lugging a laptop with me.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, I would love to do that as well. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a decent keyboard in a small factor. Anyone have any recommendations?

Reply Score: 2

I don't get it
by pooo on Thu 19th Sep 2013 21:29 UTC
pooo
Member since:
2006-04-22

This seems like a pretty strange move considering google docs. Are they trying to fragment their potential userbase even more?

I guess maybe they're just thinking more users is more users since they are requiring a google login + drive integration anyway.

My expectation though was that they bought quickoffice for the team and some tech, both of which would get integrated into their existing products.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't get it
by Nelson on Thu 19th Sep 2013 21:53 UTC in reply to "I don't get it"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Probably responding to iWork being made free on iOS more than anything.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Thu 19th Sep 2013 21:59 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

I would be interested if they made it work with VBA scripting for things like Excels and Macros ... It nice for people that want to edit simple reference docs on the go but for bigger things ... pfft.

Reply Score: 4

Do I need a Google account?
by pfgbsd on Thu 19th Sep 2013 22:18 UTC
pfgbsd
Member since:
2011-03-12

There goes your privacy again ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE: Do I need a Google account?
by Morgan on Fri 20th Sep 2013 10:58 UTC in reply to "Do I need a Google account?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

If you use an Android phone, you already give Google a huge amount of data on yourself, whether you use a Google account or not. Same goes for Apple with the iPhone and Microsoft with Windows phones.

Reply Score: 4

I'd like to interject for a moment...
by tidux on Thu 19th Sep 2013 22:40 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

I'd say that proprietary software that requires you to link a Google account to edit local documents is the very antithesis of Free.

Reply Score: 8

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Are you paying any money for it?
Otherwise nothing in this world is free. Even charity provides moral benefit to the benefactor.

Reply Score: 2

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Yeah, English has warts. ;)

It's free because you don't pay for it. But it's not free because it doesn't respect your freedom to use your computer in whatever way you would like.

English should really adopt "libre" as the word for the latter concept, and leave "free" for "no-cost".

We also really need some good gender-neutral pronouns while we're at it...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Fri 20th Sep 2013 04:59 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I can do that for free already, but, I've got a Windows Phone, so...

Reply Score: 4

so?
by l3v1 on Fri 20th Sep 2013 05:45 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

There already were free apps, Kingsoft comes to mind which I've used for a while. SO, are we celebrating that QO became free just because free is good (not a bad point actually) or is there some other reason, like QO being a gazillion times better than the others (which I don't think).

Anyway. I just convinced myself that cheering for free is reason enough ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: so?
by l3v1 on Fri 20th Sep 2013 05:53 UTC in reply to "so?"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey, people, I just found something that seems to have been forgotten by the poster, or just not noticed:

While we’re on the topic of free stuff, if you sign in to your Google Account from the new Quickoffice app for Android or iOS by September 26, 2013, you'll get an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage for two years, which will be added to your account in the next few weeks.


So, for those who 'only' use the free 15GB storage, a free addition of 10 gigs could be nice. Of course, it will have a nice getting-used-to effect so after filling it up, you'll probably end up being a paying customer after the 2 years run out ;)

Anyway, 10 gigs is 10 gigs.

Reply Score: 5

Hah!
by Drunkula on Fri 20th Sep 2013 14:45 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

I bought it last year. Oh well. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

completely free
by NuxRo on Sun 22nd Sep 2013 10:11 UTC
NuxRo
Member since:
2010-09-25

"And unlike Microsoft Office, it's completely free."

You mean completely gratis. ;)

Reply Score: 2