Google's snapped up Quickoffice, a company that makes iPhone, iPad, Android and Symbian apps that let customers open and edit Microsoft Office documents on smart phones and tablets. Google says it's planning on squeezing the company's file format-juggling tech into its own document tools.
In a post on the search giant's official blog, Google said: "Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device.
"Quickoffice has an established track record of enabling seamless interoperability [Dictionary.com says it's a word] with popular file formats, and we'll be working on bringing their powerful technology to our Apps product suite."
Quickoffice's iOS apps make it possible to create and edit Microsoft Office document, spreadsheet and presentation files, so you can do some actual work on Apple's shiny gadgets, instead of lounging about playing Hero Academy and watching old episodes of Heroes on Netflix. The apps are popular despite their high price tag -- the iPad version costs a wince-inducing £14.
Google's consumption of the company means that editing documents in Google docs will likely become much easier in the near future. That's good, because currently mucking about with Google documents or spreadsheets from a mobile device is nigh-on impossible.
The omnipotent Doodler makes no mention of Microsoft in its blog, but it's clear that buying Quickoffice is a defensive move ahead of the launch of Windows 8, which is designed to work on tablets, and will surely pack loads of compatibility for Microsoft's suite of Office programs.
While extremely boring, a huge number of people use Microsoft's Office tools for work, so any tablet that made it easy and -- dare I say it -- fun to mash up spreadsheets and presentations would find a broad audience.
Will Microsoft's Windows 8 be the platform to provide perfect productivity? Or will Google pip them to the post? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.