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Google Docs Now Syncs With Microsoft Office

Google has transformed one of its acquisitions into Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, a new tool that lets users simultaneously edit an Office doc via the cloud.

Launching in beta today, Google Cloud Connect is an add-on for Office that syncs documents, spreadsheets and presentations from Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 with the “Google (Google) cloud.” In other words, it takes data on the desktop and makes a backup copy in Google Docs (Google Docs), gives it a unique URL and constantly syncs the data with anybody else that might be sharing the same document.

The technology behind Google Cloud Connect derives from DocVerse, a productivity tool that Google acquired earlier this year that lets multiple users collaborate and edit Microsoft Office documents.

Originally, DocVerse was just focused on syncing Word docs with each other so that users could collaborate. Here’s what we originally wrote when we first reviewed it:

“This sidebar is where all of DocVerse’s magic happens. You can invite friends and colleagues to collaborate on any documents. As you and others make edits, those changes are synced to the cloud. In addition to a hard copy, the plug-in automatically saves a web-based version of the doc that others can see to make collaboration easy.”

Cloud Connect doesn’t take away any of that collaboration functionality while adding Google Docs to the mix. A business team can edit a document from either Microsoft Office or Google Docs simultaneously. Google Docs also saves all of the revisions, so if someone messes up someone else’s edits, it’s easy to revert them.

Today’s launch is all about getting Office users to slowly switch to Google Docs. The search giant wants people to switch from Office to the cloud, which eventually leads to Google. By dipping their toes into the waters of Google Docs via their business colleagues and friends, loyal Office users will get used to Google’s offering and eventually discard Microsoft’s productivity suite for good. At least, that’s what Google hopes.

Does Google’s plan make sense? Yes. Will it actually work? Probably. Is Cloud Connect a win for users? Absolutely.

Google Cloud Connect

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