Check out Memeorandum on Google’s Writely acquisition. If you expand the discussion area, pretty much the entire first page becomes Google-bought-Writely nattering. To my subjective way of looking at things, Writely is officially the most buzzed-about story in recent blog-o-sphere history.
It isn’t the size of the deal. ‘Cause I’m hearing that Google did the deed for less than $10-million, all in. They bought, what, four developers?
And it isn’t the size of the installed base. No numbers have been announced, but if it’s more than 50,000 active users you could knock me over with a USB key.
About the only thing you can point to is that it seems juicily disrespectful to Microsoft. Hey, to that way of thinking, here’s Google going after the heart of Microsoft’s business.
Really though? As analyst Rick Sherlund points out in a note today, this represents, optimistically, maybe 6% of Microsoft revenues. Buying Writely seems more about wistful Google-hoping for the return of collaboration than a real shot across Microsoft’s bow. But collaboration is more of a business thing than a consumer thing, and it’s hard to imagine enterprise customers getting very worked up about Writely. No workflow, no local backup, no easy in-house tracking … even if you ignore the gaping feature disparity, this is not an enterprise replacement for Microsoft Word.
No, all the buzz seems more brrrrzzzzt. A great big raspberry. As the saying goes, “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”, and while bloggers may be uneasy about Google, they demonstrably dislike Microsoft even more. So they positively love it when someone blows Microsoft a big wet one.