Google has just made Quickoffice – its mobile app for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents – free for Android and iOS users.
The app was bought by Google more than a year ago but previously cost $14.99 or $19.99 for the HD version. The search giant previously provided it for free to Google Apps for Business subscribers (a £3/month service that gives advanced functionality for Google Docs, Calendar, etc) but it’s now free to anyone with a Google account.
To sweeten the deal further Google are also offering 10GB of free storage for Google Drive to users who download Quickoffice. The deal is only available for today however and will run out after two years.
Google Drive and Google Docs have allow users to edit Office documents but they have previously had to be imported first – something that takes time and can create formatting errors. Quickoffice instead allows for the direct editing of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations.
Microsoft has its own Office editing app for mobile devices but it requires Office 365 – a subscription version of Microsoft Office that mainly targets businesses.
Google's decision to make Quickoffice free seems like part of an increasing move by a number of companies to challenge Microsoft's dominant position in the 'productivity suite' market (a term used to refer collectively to editors of documents, spreadsheets, presentations and the like), especially when it comes to mobile- or cloud-based access.
Apple announced earlier this month that they would be offering the mobile version of iWork (a suite of software that includes Pages, Keynote and Numbers) for free to people purchasing new iOS devices (iPads or iPhones).