FT.com / Companies / US & Canada - Google acquires wiki pioneer JotSpot:
"Google acquires wiki pioneer JotSpot
By Richard Waters in San Francisco
Published: November 1 2006 02:00 | Last updated: November 1 2006 02:00
Google's steady encroachment into the corporate software market continued on Tuesday as it announced the acquisition of JotSpot, a three-year-old private company that runs wikis, or communal web pages.
The acquisition also opens a new front in the competition between Google and Microsoft, further rounding out the internet company's package of 'productivity' and collaboration tools that are coming to resemble an online version of the Office desktop software.
Founded by Joe Kraus - whose earlier creation, the internet portal Excite, experienced one of the most dramatic rises and falls of the dotcom era - JotSpot is one of several 'Web 2.0' companies that have aimed their services mainly at corporate rather than individual users.
Wikis are web pages that can be written or edited by a group, making them a potentially useful tool for workers in different locations who are trying to collaborate.
As such, they reduce the need for large numbers of group emails and attachments, which have become the bane of many office workers' lives.
The acquisition echoes Google's recent purchase of Writely, an online word processing service, which was relaunched last month as Google Docs and packaged with an undated version of the company's spreadsheet service.
JotSpot's service will also be moved onto Google's software architecture, and will be integrated with these and other Google services, said Mr Kraus.
He added that the push for tighter integration was part of a broader effort at Google, begun by its co-founder Sergey Brin, to move from releasing large numbers of stand-alone services to building tighter integration and 'richer' features into the services Google already has,
Google has said that its aim is not to replace Microsoft's Office, but to create a range of services that are more suited to online collaboration between groups of workers. JotSpot has so far sold its service to 2,000 companies, said Mr Kraus, but the fees will be dropped now that it is part of Google.
He added that the wiki service was likely to fit closely with the company's word processing and spreadsheet services, which are aimed at a 'crossover market' of both consumers and small businesses."