Google Drinks Tonic, Readies Presentations

    April 17, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Google added another piece to their Frankenstein-ish productivity suite by acquiring Tonic Systems for its technology, which will allow Google to add a PowerPoint competitor to its Docs & Spreadsheets product.

Hold the blog posts, it’s not really a PowerPoint competitor. Just ask Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who told that to Web 2.0 Expo attendees, as Dan Farber noted:

“We don’t think its a competitor to Microsoft Office,” Schmidt said. “It’s casual and sharing and a better fit to how people use the Web. My guess is many companies in the audience are building products like this or other variants of this using the emerging architecture.”

As Good Morning Silicon Valley writer John Murrell put it: “Too coy by half, Eric, even if you don’t want to bill it as an Office Killer. It’s not like you’re fooling Microsoft.”

Whether it’s direct competition or simply a spirited response to the demand for web applications, Google will have presentation software available this summer, according to Google engineering director Sam Schillace:

First of all, we want to welcome the team from Tonic Systems to Google. Tonic, which we’ve just acquired, is based in San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia. They have some great technology for presentation creation and document conversion, and it will be a great addition as we add presentation sharing and collaboration capabilities to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Google offers its productivity software for free online. Microsoft is rumored to have a similar version of Office in the works for the web. We aren’t sure if that will ever happen, considering how Office is one of Microsoft’s main revenue sources.

To compete with Google, Microsoft is almost forced to make those applications free, or bundle them with existing offerings like Office Live, or even as a perk for their AdCenter search advertising customers.

Of course, Google will already have their suite available when the presentation side of the product launches in a few months.