Yesterday, Techcrunch wrote about DocVerse, a plug-in to Microsoft Office that les you collaborate on your Word, Powerpoint of Excel files direcly with coworkers.
To work, DocVerse must be installed by all parties involved in the collaboration, but once that is set, any member of a doc can edit the doc offline, or directly on Docverse’s online document editing and sharing platform. Everything is automatically synced, kind of like the way DropBox works. There is even an IM integration to enhance collaboration and feedbacks. The plug-in lets you simply add comments on the documents you collaborate on, and is a great time-saver for those who do not use Google Docs in the first place. Will it save Microsoft Office from being slurped by Google Docs?
Microsoft’s Office products have the advantage of delivering much more features than Google’s online doc editing tools. However, it is such a pain to save and share a doc (and ensure compatibility issues) every time one needs feedbacks, that doing a simple draft wih Google’s word editing tool can save hours of work.
I think DocVerse could save Microsoft Office the same way Xobni is saving Outlook by integrating a whole set of Web 2.0 and Enterprise-class features. Making Microsoft Office tools directly connected to the Web is a a great opportunity to strike back against Google Docs’ online editing and sharing convenience. While appending comments on a doc is still a very limited feature with a basic design, it does the job of saving you and your team some precious work time.
Also, as mentioned on the Techcrunch post linked-to above, DocVerse already grabbed $1.3 million in VC funding, which means they probably have bigger plans than just adding comment boxes to our Microsoft Office Documents. As of today, the plugin costs $49 per install, which I think is a bit pricey, and could kill the adoption rate of a product that only has some very basic features to offer so far.
What do you think? Could a plugin like DocVerse make Microsoft Office more competitive against Google Docs?