Showing that it’s more than a little interested in enabling people to handle office tasks over the Internet, Google said Thursday that it has snapped up Writely, a maker of a Web-based word processor.
The acquisition was noted on both Writely’s main Web site and on a blog run by Writely co-founder Claudia Carpenter.
“Yes, we’ve been acquired by Google,” Carpenter wrote. In a frequently asked questions page on Writely’s site, the word processor company says it doesn’t yet know what the implications of the sale are.
“We haven’t yet figured out all the details,” Writely said on its site. “Coming to Google will eventually give us a leg up on getting things done that we just haven’t been able to with our tiny team.”
A Google representative confirmed the deal in an e-mail. “We acquired Writely for the innovative technology and talented team,” Google said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have them here.” The purchase price was not disclosed.
There has been considerable speculation that Google would look to create a Web-based rival to Microsoft’s dominant software suite, speculation that was fueled in October when Google announced a partnership with Sun Microsystems, which has been a leading backer of OpenOffice. That same month, Google also said it was hiring several programmers to help work on improving OpenOffice.
Writely is one of several companies that offer hosted productivity applications.