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Google Attacks Microsoft Again: Android 4.4 Ships With Quickoffice 178

Posted by timothy
from the file-formats-yet-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google's biggest blow to Microsoft isn't against Windows Phone. It's against Microsoft Office. You see, KitKat ships with Quickoffice, letting you edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go, without paying a dime, straight out of the box. This tidbit was largely lost in the news yesterday, given the large number of improvements and new features that KitKat offers. Yet it's a very big deal: every Android user that upgrades to KitKat will get Google's Quickoffice, and every new Android device (starting with the Nexus 5) that ships with KitKat or higher will also get Quickoffice."
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Google Attacks Microsoft Again: Android 4.4 Ships With Quickoffice

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  • But I don't want it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by richy freeway (623503) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:39AM (#45310929)
    Is this optional or am I required to have it taking up space on my Nexus 4 regardless?
    • It's already installed (in 4.3 at least). Open a pdf or a word doc and QuickOffice will view it.
      • by feranick (858651)
        That is the stock quickoffice viewer. What we are talking about here is the editor, which is a separate app. It's free in the play store for any android 2.2+:

        https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.quickoffice.android&hl=en
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        the viewer was always free, iirc.

        quickoffice sold itself to google right after they ran out of steady stream of money coming from nokia and due to some nokians benefiting from that arrangement it took 2 years longer than was supposed to get ms versions of ms document viewers on symbians....

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        It came pre-installed on my 2.1 Sony Ericcson X10 Mini Pro. Is this really "new" news?

    • by feranick (858651) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @10:05AM (#45311055)
      The version that allows for editing MS docs has been recently released in the play store for any android user. Kitkat only has it installed by default, but otherwise it's one install away.
    • by siddesu (698447)
      It was better when it wasn't Google's -- it worked offline and without the need for a G+ account. I'm glad they didn't buy the better office package for Android, Office Suite Pro.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Screw both MS and Google, I'm using Open Office. Opens and saves all formats just fine, exports easily to PDF and I don't have to be online to use it. It would be handy to open a Word doc or Oo doc on my phone, though, although I certainly wouldn't want to write or edit on a phone.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Maybe not on a phone, but a tablet in landscape mode with a USB or Bluetooth keyboard? Why not?

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Is this optional or am I required to have it taking up space on my Nexus 4 regardless?

      It'll be part of the firmware... I.E. taking up space you can't access/use for anything, anyhow.

      Kingsoft Office is also free and handles Microsoft Office formats, too.

    • by molnarcs (675885)

      Is this optional or am I required to have it taking up space on my Nexus 4 regardless?

      What a tribulation!

  • by hsmith (818216) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:40AM (#45310935)
    Since they acquired them it seems they have dumped no money into improvements. While it is an office editing App, it really needs some work to be "great." Granted, it is much more functional than Microsofts Office 365 backed App.
    • It allegedly has some sort of integration with Google Drive (assuming that counts as an "improvement").

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:40AM (#45310939)

    It's NOT super effective.

    Let's get real. An office-ish app on a smart phone is NOT a challenge to a full blown desktop office suite. To suggest that it is indicates an absolute lack of understanding of the user base and use cases for office suites.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Not a challenge, but a requirement to be competitive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So plug that mini-HDMI into your TV and get a Bluetooth keyboard. Is that challenge enough for you?

    • I think you're the one with the lack of understanding. It's not on the phone for document creation, it's there so you can look at that attachment to your e-mail without running to a PC.
      • So where is the "attack" in the headline coming from, then? If anything Google just made Office on laptops and desktops more attractive by shipping a viewer for them by default on Android.

    • It's NOT super effective.

      Let's get real. An office-ish app on a smart phone is NOT a challenge to a full blown desktop office suite. To suggest that it is indicates an absolute lack of understanding of the user base and use cases for office suites.

      Its not just a challenge its a threat to 60% of Microsofts Profits. Right now Android passed 1 Billion activations in September(windows is about 1.2Billion), while Microsoft thinks delaying its suite to get people to buy their OS. If you don't think its a treaty then you do not understand how people use Office.

      • I'm pretty sure the GP does understand how people use Office, which is why he doesn't think a smartphone app is in any way a challenge to a desktop office suite.

        Quite honestly, the only value I've ever seen in smartphone and tablet office apps is viewing content or making absolutely minor modifications. And quite honestly, I'd say even that is a minority concern, most people lose interest the moment they install a "free office suite" and find out, in practice, how much of a PITA the touch UI is for creat

    • by Rob Y. (110975)

      Right. If anything, having an MSOffice-compatible app on Android phones just deepens the entrenchment of MSOffice, ratifying it's document formats as the one and only standard. Not saying they're not already enough of a standard that it's not important to be able to work with them - just that this isn't a challenge to Office. More of a challenge to using Office as a competitive advantage for Windows phone.

      All this does is check the box of being able to open and make small edits to MSO documents on your p

    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      I agree, but consider also how impossible it now becomes for MS to make money from Office on portable devices. Sure, it isn't (yet) very relevant to sales on PCs and full notebooks, but that's not exactly the growth segment in the computer market. And when you consider that the typical young person has an Android phone before they ever get a PC. When they get around to buying one, you can sort of imagine that a future, better version of Quickoffice on the PC might feel to them like the document editor to tr
  • by boorack (1345877) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:43AM (#45310947)
    In other news patent cartel created by Microsoft and Apple attacks Google and others [theregister.co.uk]. Somewhat sad to see when one side of this battle uses product superiority and the other one resorts to lawyers and patent trolls. It just underscores roteness and corrupion of US corporate economy.
  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:43AM (#45310949)

    Is processing for Quickoffice done off-phone? Or, to put it another way, does Quickoffice share all of your work with Google?

    • The copy I bought a few months ago wasn't connected to Google Drive, so I'm pretty sure it does its own processing and rendering. It is usable, and good in a pinch, but no replacement for a full office suite. But what do It need a full office suite on a Nexus 7 for anyways?

      • Which is why the biased headline, summary and article are nonsense. This is not even going to make a dent in Office, forget about "attacking" it.

    • by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot&castlesteelstone,us> on Saturday November 02, 2013 @10:22AM (#45311185) Homepage Journal

      Quickoffice was a document-editing program way back in the PalmOS days, and it was the only major player to make a WebOS version.

      Quickoffice does not require Google Docs to work. Although it does have some features which are counter-intuitive and don't work depending on the view you're in.

    • It used to be a standalone app before Google bought them, so I would guess no. But now that Google owns them, all bets are off.

  • OK with me... (Score:4, Informative)

    by unique_parrot (1964434) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:45AM (#45310955)
    ...these medialess new microsoft office versions, where you have to make an account just to download the installer is a pita.

    And only being able to upgrade to win 8.1 with the market, not by windows update??? can't download the service pack to a stick??

    And the switch to monthly subscription for office is a very bad thing, i hope people realize this aswell!

    i hope ms get's a salted bill for all this.
    • by number17 (952777)

      And only being able to upgrade to win 8.1 with the market, not by windows update???

      Apple beats the same drum. OSX 10.9 can be had from the Store, not Software Updates.
      http://www.apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade/ [apple.com]

      can't download the service pack to a stick??

      Corporate customers download the ISO. Retail customers get the shaft. Super hard shaft if you live in the sticks. No idea if Apple does the same.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      i hope people realize this aswell!

      i hope ms get's a salted bill for all this.

      No caps, "aswell" and a grocer's apostrophe... what grade are you in, kid? If you're trying to look cool, you're not succeeding.

      Yeah, mod me down for trying to educate someone at a nerd site...

      • i'm sorry but english is not my first language.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Then I'm sure you appreciate the information. Here's another tip: there are an awful lot of uneducated people on the internet, don't mimic them. Just do it like your teachers and books taught.

    • by westlake (615356)

      And the switch to monthly subscription for office is a very bad thing, i hope people realize this as well!

      I don't see the problem here.

      Office 365 Home Premium $99/yr.

      5 PCs and/or Macs + any five mobile devices + your Windows phones.
      MS Office Pro, full versions of every program, locally resident and always up to date.
      MS Office Anywhere, full versions of every program, streamed on demand to any Win7/8 PC.
      MS Office Web and Office on Mobile Devices.
      20 GB of SkyDrive Storage
      60 minutes of global Skype calls per month.

      If you are a college student, Office 365 University [microsoftstore.com] is $80 for four years with an option to ren

      • by mspohr (589790)

        Considering that you can get all of this for free from multiple sources for multiple platforms, the $99/year looks like a ripoff.
        Some years ago Bill Gates, in a moment of wishful thinking, said that hardware was trending towards free while software was where the real money could be made.
        At the time I didn't believe it and today we have a situation where most software is free (and hardware is cheap). This kind of undercuts Microsoft's business model.
        I can't remember the last time I bought any software. Every

    • where you have to make an account just to download the installer

      You also have to have a Google account to download QuickOffice.

  • by GauteL (29207) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @09:51AM (#45310993)

    In many markets Google has a near monopoly position. Their global smart phone market share is around 80% and in some markets it's even higher. Bundling an office suite in order to leverage their dominant operating system is unlikely to sit well with regulators.

    • by bjwest (14070) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @10:03AM (#45311047)
      Wouldn't that only apply if MS made an Android office app, and Google was preventing the user from installing it?

      I don't see how it could be considered antitrust to create something that competes with nothing.
      • The mere bundling of Internet Explorer and latterly Windows Media Player with Windows was enough to be classed as anti trust, because MS were deemed to be trying to use a monopoly position in one market to secure a monopoly position in another market.

        In this case, Google could quite easily be seen to be trying to use a dominant position in the smartphone market to extend their dominance into the mobile office app market.

    • by div_2n (525075)

      Not necessarily. It really depends on how they do the integration. If they set the application default behavior to always open docs with QuickOffice, then maybe. But if they leave it as an option and you have to manually select to always use QuickOffice then I would venture to guess there's virtually no chance a suit would be filed and even less of a chance of it being successful if someone does.

    • In many markets Google has a near monopoly position. Their global smart phone market share is around 80% and in some markets it's even higher. Bundling an office suite in order to leverage their dominant operating system is unlikely to sit well with regulators.

      I sure you were against the inclusion of Microsoft Office crapware with every version of its OS. I personally welcome the EU including a start screen on Desktops. Ignoring that Apple has started to bundle iwork...and Microsoft has started including crippled office with its tablets.. neither of these is available for Android. The reality is though Microsoft Office is the monopoly on Microsofts formats something they secured through buying votes in ISO. This will help stop the current compatibility tax myth.

  • Apple not MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Saturday November 02, 2013 @10:06AM (#45311067) Homepage Journal

    This is more of an attack against Apple giving away the iWork package for free. MS is barely a blip on the radar.
  • This is probably about as big a deal as Apple giving away their office suite and iLife package to new customers; nice to have, but not a decision maker.

    There are so many different use cases for smartphones and I haven't personally heard any friends or colleagues saying that the ability to edit MS Office apps is anywhere near the top of the list.

    For tablet devices, the situation is different and it makes sense for Google to catch up with Microsoft and Apple who already offer free versions of their office sof

  • quickoffice (Score:5, Informative)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @10:11AM (#45311101)
    Quickoffice? How is ths news? Not long back they made it free, and we even got free extra Google Drive space for downloading and installing it. And it doesn't need to be KitKat, it works with earlier versions as well.

    Again, how is this news?

    Right.
    • by mewsenews (251487)

      I knew there would be at least one comment downplaying this story.

      This is a tiny move on Google's part with huge ramifications.

      Android has been a huge success, I read that it has something like 80% of the market share of mobile devices, but that statistic was probably made up.

      When Grandma opens an email on her tablet thing that her IT grandson told her to get so that he could stop supporting her Windows computer, she's going to be opening the word attachment using Google software - and then possibly editing

  • by Skiron (735617)
    The last bloody thing I want to do when out walking, or in a pub or on the bus or anything else when out and about is the bloody well create a word processing document or spreadsheet or what ever.

    Geez, what's going on in the world?
  • How has Apples iwork annouced on Slashdot "Apple Announces iCloud and iWork For iOS" http://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/05/31/192223/apple-announces-icloud-and-iwork-for-ios [slashdot.org]

    Is the need for such emotive language when talking about Google. Personally I welcome the new competition in the Office field if only Microsoft hadn't abusively corrupted ISO it would be as exciting as browsers are today.

  • user of Android 4+ can already get Quickoffice for free through the play store. What's your point?

  • by sinij (911942) on Saturday November 02, 2013 @11:00AM (#45311481) Journal
    As much as I dislike MS, having Google that is in business of collecting and aggregating information about us ALSO be default office tools provider is even worse.

    How long would it take to have mandatory Google+ integration to use it? Thanks, but no thanks.
  • Wasn't it supposed to be Google's alternative? Was it too hard to adapt to mobile?

  • by Voyager529 (1363959) <`voyager529' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Saturday November 02, 2013 @02:30PM (#45313009)

    I needed to view a Word document in a hurry. I got a copy of QuickOffice from Amazon when it was a free app-of-the-day last year, but opted to try Google's more recent flavor. Google insisted I logged in, and refused to do anything if I just wanted to use a Word document on my SD card. There was NO reason for this. I, for one, disapprove of this change, regardless of any of the others.

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