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 get access to Quickoffice.
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Google acquired Quickoffice back in June 2012. In December 2012, the company released Quickoffice for iPad, making it exclusively available for free to its Apps customers. In April 2013, it followed up with free Android and iPhone versions for Apps customers as well. Last month, Google released Quickoffice for free, making it available to all Android and iOS users.
Here’s what we wrote at the time:
Microsoft shot itself in the foot here. Sure it finally released Office Mobile for iOS in June and Office Mobile for Android in July, but there was one small problem: an Office 365 subscription was and still is required.
In other words, Microsoft matched Google’s deal. Now Google has hit back and undercut Microsoft once again, and this blow might be the biggest yet.
We thought Google’s onslaught was over when it made the apps free, but it stepped up its war against Microsoft Office yet again. Last month, Google removed a very big hurdle by making Quickoffice free for everyone. All Android users could just go out and download the free alternative.
Now Google has removed yet another hurdle: new Android users and those who upgrade to new Android don’t even have to download the apps. They’re right there. Most people won’t even think to go search, let alone download, Office Mobile for Android.
Android has a huge, growing userbase. Google is essentially giving its version of productivity software a huge boost, by including it on the world’s most popular mobile operating system. That’s a deal Microsoft will have tremendous difficulty matching, let alone beating.
Top Image Credit: beermug