Google lends a hand to Microsoft Office rival
From TimesOnline.com: Google lends a hand to Microsoft Office rival
Google is opening up yet another front in its battle with Microsoft by backing a competitor to Bill Gates’ dominant Office software package.
The internet search and advertising company is set to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice, a freely distributed "open source" alternative to products including Word, Microsoft’s massively popular word processor, it was revealed today.
"We want to hire a couple of folks to help make OpenOffice better," Chris DiBona, manager for open-source programs at Google, told news.com, the industry website.
"We use a fair amount of open source software at Google. We want to make sure that's a healthy community. And we want to make sure open source preserves competitiveness within the industry," he added.
Ouch... Not good news for Microsoft to have their hottest competitor throw weight behind a free Office alternative. I realize that Office 12 is supposed to do everything but wash your dog, and it will probably have some cool features. But conversely, the typical home user just wants the basics. Likewise the small to medium business. Google will lend major credibility to OpenOffice, at exactly the time when Microsoft needs to have a blockbuster winner... Also, if OpenOffice is the only significant office suite supporting OpenDoc format, guess where people will start looking?
This one will be interesting to watch...