Thursday, March 23, 2006

Writely Aquired by Google

The AJAX-based online word-processing application Writely has been acquired by Google. I wrote about Writely a few posts back, and still give it my praise--it's a great program that really fills a niche.

But what does the merger mean for us users? Well for one, Writely has temporarily discontinued new registrations until the transition to Google's servers is completed. Writely claims to not change things--for now-- and the merger should allow the start-up to make some serious improvements under Google's massive budget. The team working on the Writely project should increase as well.

I'm wary about Google's AdSense program slipping in on Writely, however. Google has had the habit of providing useful, streamlined, and powerful services with their trademark clean interfaces, but then adding their text ads later down the road. Look at Gmail, for example. Writely claims this will not happen until users are notified, but how much good will that do once the users have established a portfolio of work on Writely?

From the looks of it, no major changes are occuring to Writely as a result of the merger for some time. Nonetheless, I'm not certain if this was the best decision for Writely. I'm a believer in the *nix philosophy: Do one thing and do it right. Since Google went public in 2004, it has been straying from its own domain--web searching. Hopefully Google can keep doing Writely "right" (write?).

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