In a surprise announcement, Google’s standalone office suite, Quickoffice has been stripped off a price tag and has been converted into a “free-for-anyone-with-a-google-account” application. The application allows users to view, edit and work with documents, presentations and spreadsheets right from their mobile phones. While Google Drive already had these facilities, it is more of a web app and some people out there really prefer the flexibility offered by a really capable standalone application.
Apart from the application going for free, Google has also announced an early bird “bonus” for all those people who download, install and signup for Quickoffice before September 26. These people would get a 10 GB storage upgrade on their respective Google Drive accounts – taking the total free storage capacity to 15 GB on Google Drive! That’s quite sufficient if all you are storing there are documents.
This move by Google is largely being seen as a move to undercut Microsoft who offers its Office Mobile for iOS and Android. Like Microsoft which requires the user to possess a Office 365 subscription to use Office Mobile, until now, to use QuickOffice for “free”, users need to have possessed a paid Google Apps account. This is what Google has changed effective today. With Quickoffice now free, regardless of the user possessing a paid Google Apps account or not, they now have full document editing capability whilst on the move. All they need is a normal Google account!
Quickoffice was acquired by Google last year and has been in the past known to make quality smartphone word, presentation and spreadhseet applications for various smartphone platforms.