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Google Acquires Tonic Systems; Promises PowerPoint Alternative by Summer

Google has announced the acquisition of Tonic Systems, which will help it to launch a PowerPoint competitor by the summer.

According to the official Google blog

Tonic, which we’ve just acquired, is based in San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia. They have some great technology for presentation creation and document conversion, and it will be a great addition as we add presentation sharing and collaboration capabilities to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Nathan managed to get hold of the following screenshot

When asked by John Battelle, at the Web 2.0 conference, if Google Docs & Spreadsheets would compete with Microsoft, CEO Eric Schmidt replied, “We don’t think so. It doesn’t have all the functionality, nor is it intended to have the functionality of products like Microsoft Office.”

You have to give Battelle props for voicing what we all think…

“Come on! It’s a competitor to Microsoft Office,” Battelle said, prompting a round of applause from a concurring audience. “This provides (people) with a free alternative, which has got to be considered a threat” to Microsoft.

It’s not clear why Google would acquire Tonic, when it has been rumored to be developing its own presentation technology. A comment from a TechCrunch reader may shed some light…

In November 2006, I saw this product being used in meetings at Google…It’s been in development for quite some time now, although it was still very bare-bones then. It sounds like their recent acquisition of Tonic was made for some essential technology component (probably “Download as PowerPoint” or something) — Tonic won’t be in charge of building the core product- that one should mainly be ready and in testing now.

The Google juggernaut continues to roll. But remember, Google’s not a threat to anyone, honestly!