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

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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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

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 Parent Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

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 Parent Score: 6

pooo Member since:

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 Parent Score: 5

r_a_trip Member since:

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 Parent Score: 7

umccullough Member since:

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 Parent Score: 4