Google Inc. has acquired a company called DocVerse to help the Internet search leader round out its online software programs and provide more ammunition in its duel with Microsoft Corp.
Financial terms of the deal announced Friday weren't disclosed.
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DocVerse provides tools that make its possible for people to use the Internet to work together on documents formatted in one of Microsoft's word processing, spreadsheet or presentation programs. The startup was founded in 2007 by former Microsoft employees Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui.
Google offers programs that are similar to the Microsoft software but are hosted on Web sites. The approach, sometimes dubbed "cloud computing," is part of Google's attempt to weaken Microsoft, which makes much of its money by selling software that's installed on individual computer drives.
By adding DocVerse's tools, Google appears to preparing to pitch people who feel more comfortable working with Microsoft Office applications. DocVerse estimates more than 600 million people rely on Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs.
In a blog posting, Google said DocVerse would stop accepting new users until it's ready to announce its next move. Current DocVerse users will still have their usual access, Google said.
DocVerse is at least the ninth acquisition of a small technology company Google has made in the past seven months. Google hopes to add to that list by buying AdMob, a mobile advertising service, for $750 million. It still needs regulators' approval before it can complete that deal.