We first hinted back in 2009 that Google may be looking at DocVerse for a possible acquisition target. The deal has now materialized and Google has paid a decent sum of $25 Million for a company started by two Microsoft Veterans just three years ago. DocVerse is a set of plug-ins that bridge the gap between traditional Microsoft software and cloud based apps like Google Docs. It offers web-based collaboration and group editing for documents that can be synced between your desktop and the cloud storage.
Acquiring DocVerse will serve multiple purposes for Google and its products. Firstly, it will help Google bridge the gap between Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Secondly, Google will get a couple of Microsoft veterans on their team who have managed products like SharePoint and SQL and bring a whole lot of insight to the Google vs. Microsoft battle.
This is another strong indication of Google’s strategy to slowly move away from desktop to cloud-based technologies. It is also important to note that with the advancement of cloud-based based technologies, the increasing need of syncing data with portable devices would become prominent. Who knows? We might see Google acquiring some mobile app development companies in the next few months.
I have always been a big fan of Picnik, the online image editor which I have mentioned several times in the past. Picnik provide users with a easy to use and simple interface to edit images online.
In an official announcement on the Picnik Blog, the folks at Picnik said that Google has officially acquired Picnik.
And all this leads us to today’s exciting news: we’ve just been acquired by Google! What does this mean for Picnik? It means we can think BIG. Google processes petabytes of data every day, and with their worldwide infrastructure and world-class team, it is truly the best home we could have found. Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more awesome.
But why would Google acquire a online image editing company? Well, from what I could think of, Google’s Picasa Web does not have any image editing capabilities, so Picnik could be put to good use at Picasa Web. Another use for Picnik would be in Gmail and Google Buzz, where Google allows users to upload and share images but does not allow them to edit it.
Picnik definitely proves a good fit for lot of Google properties and it will be interesting to see how Google makes use of the latest acquisition. However, current Picnik users do not have much to worry about as they will be able to continue using Picnik as before.
There is no official note on the price of the sale, but we will try to update the post once we get information about it.
Google welcomes Picnik [via TechMeme]
Unlike Google, Facebook is not going crazy making acquisitions. In fact, thy Malaysian based Octazen Solutions is only their third acquisition following Parakey and FriendFeed. GigaOm breaks the story about Facebook acquiring Octazen last week for an undisclosed sum. Octazen is a relatively small and unknown startup that developed solutions allowing social network users to import contacts from other services.
Facebook says the acquisition is purely a talent acquisition and the two people behind Octazen are now Facebook employees. Octazen has stopped signing up new customers and are apparently in a transition phase to bring everythin over to the biggest social network of the world. They say they will honor their existing contracts.
This is what old Octazen website claims they did:
Octazen Solutions is the leading provider of address book contact importer scripts and social network scripts that empower you to do exactly that !
Octazen has been criticized by many to collect and retain data without being detected and use it for much more than just allowing users to importing contacts. The absence of a statement from Facebook is also not helping the speculations going around about the reason for this acquisition. People have even suggested that Octazen resold the data it collected and involved in some other shady practices. Here is a demo of one of their scripts. What do you think about this acquisition, is there more to it than meets the eye?
Previously mentioned EtherPad, a real-time collaborative service for text and documents, has been acquired by Google to enhance their real-time collaboration tool in Google Wave.
Google has actually acquired AppJet Inc., the creators of EtherPad and inducted them into the Google Wave team, according to a blog post from them.
Google Wave has been widely published but has still to get off the mark as many users are still clueless about how to use this service. One of the most important features in Google Wave is real-time collaboration, and this acquisition definitely fits their needs.
However, it would be good to see how Google uses the technology from AppJet as they already have something similar in the form of Google Docs.
If you are a Google Wave users, you might want to check out a comprehensive guide for newbie’s and advanced users alike, in the Ultimate List of Tips and Tricks for Google Wave.
Gizmo 5 (Gizmo Project, SIPphone) has become yet another one of those independent IM and VoIP communications networks that has been acquired by Google Voice to expand on its work. Though there were several offshoots of this project such as mobile Gizmo5 (as you can see from this cached copy of their old website ), most of these might be replaced by Google’s apps in due time.
Existing users can still access Gizmo5 services and products, but new user signup has been blocked for now. There is still no word on the new features. An integration with Google Talk is highly anticipated!
From the blogpost:-
While we don’t have any specific features to announce right now, Gizmo5’s engineers will be joining the Google Voice team to continue improving the Google Voice and Gizmo5 experience
In a surprising news from Google, the have officially announced the acquisition of reCaptcha, a company that creates captcha images from books.
The difference between a regular captcha and reCaptcha is that reCaptcha displays two words from books to the users, to successfully submit a form a user has to enter both these words.
Google is more interested in the scanning technology used by reCaptcha and will be using it for large scale text scanning for Google Books and Google News Archive.
In this way, reCAPTCHA’s unique technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This technology also powers large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and Google News Archive Search. Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.
Definitely makes huge sense considering that Google has been making huge changes to their books index. What are your thoughts about this?
Teaching computers to read: Google acquires reCAPTCHA [Official Google Blog]
The biggest news of the day today has been the acquisition of FriendFeed a social aggregation service by social networking giants Facebook, this deal took many users and tech pundits by surprise, so what’s in for you?
We haven’t really analyzed much aspects of it yet and will come up with some detailed analysis in near future, in the meantime, take a look at some reactions from the major blogs in the tech world.
To catch up the rest of the stories on the Facebook and FriendFeed saga, head to Techmeme here, you will find tons of related stories, we will come up with more detailed analysis shortly.
In a surprising news PC World reports that Yahoo has acquired Xoopit the popular Firefox add-on that brought social photo management to Gmail.
Sometime back Yahoo had integrated Xoopit into their application gallery, allowing users to find all their photo and video attachments in a simple interface.
However the more interesting question that arises now is what is Xoopit or Yahoo going to do about the Firefox add-on for Gmail?
Remember that Xoopit requires users to share their username and passwords for Gmail in order to work. Would Xoopit feel comfortable with sharing that information with Yahoo, would Yahoo use the user information to poach Gmail users?
Another question is that will Yahoo continue to allow users of Gmail to make use of a product they own for free?
Lot’s of question arises out of this acquisition and many are surprised that Gmail did not make a move on them.
However we definitely think that Xoopit will stop support for Gmail users, or completely pull off the product.
What do you think? Are you using Xoopit in Gmail? Will you stop using it? What will your reaction be if Xoopit stops support for Gmail users? Let us know about it.