Google finally integrated its DocVerse acquisition and on Nov. 22 released it as Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, a free software plug-in that people can use to create Office documents and save them to Google Docs.
Google Docs is the search engine's document, presentation and spreadsheet application suite. Google stores the files users create with Docs in its larger server farms and provisions them over the Internet, or the cloud.
Docs is the Web-based alternative to Microsoft Office, the software giant's own suite of document, presentation and spreadsheet applications. Office, which has more than 500 million users worldwide, is installed locally on users' computers.
The Cloud Connect plug-in is Google's attempt to bridge the gap between Office and Docs. The tool allows users accustomed to using Office to make copies in the Docs cloud, where creators can edit and share them with one or more people.
Once an Office Word document, PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet (Office 2003, 2007 and 2010) is created and saved to Google Docs via Cloud Connect, the documents are synchronized.
This means that the documents are backed-up, given a unique URL, and can be accessed from any connected PC, laptop, netbook, tablet computer or smartphone through Google Docs.
In that manner, documents can be shared and even simultaneously edited by multiple people from within Office. Cloud Connect also retains revision history as the files are edited, so that users can revert to earlier versions.
"These are all features that Google Docs users already enjoy today, and now we're bringing them to Microsoft Office," said product manager Shan Sinha.