Well, you can’t call Google
stingy. One day after announcing record
breaking profits for yet another quarter, Google put some of that cash to work,
acquiring video-conferencing software from Swedish company Marratech AB.
Google also took on Marratech’s technical team, which will continue
to be located in Sweden, a Google spokesman told internetnews.com. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Marratech’s video-conferencing software is based on research that
began in 1995 at the Centre for Distance-Spanning Technology (CDT) at
Lulea university of Technology, Sweden. The software employs a
interactive whiteboard and application sharing and works on PCs
running Mac, Linux or Windows, according to Marratech’s Web site.
In a blog post, Google said it bought the software to “enable from-
the-desktop participation for Googlers in videoconference meetings
wherever there’s an Internet connection.” But the Google spokesperson
said there were no announcements to explain how Google plans to make
the video-conference software available to Internet users.
One possibility is that Google will roll the software into a software
package it’s been marketing to enterprises since earlier this year.
In February, Google announced Google Apps Premier Edition, a
suite of hosted applications targeted at the same enterprise market
traditionally dominated by Microsoft Office. Google Apps Premier
Edition costs businesses $50 per user account per year, includes
Google Calendar, as well as the company’s Gmail e-mail application
and its Google Talk instant messaging client. It also includes Google
Docs and Spreadsheets, word processing and spreadsheet applications
geared for collaboration between users. Google’s mobile e-mail
application is also now available on BlackBerry devices.
Earlier this week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Google will
soon add a presentation feature to its Google Docs and Spreadsheet
online applications to let users use slideshows.