OffiSync has already gotten positive press for its integration of online word processor Google Docs with Microsoft Word. The Seattle company is taking that integration further with the now-available version 2, by adding Google web search and image search.
VentureBeat writer Dean Takahashi said he was impressed with OffiSync when he covered the initial product launch a few months ago. Basically it lets you use Office but also search, collaborate, and save documents to the web via Google Docs. Now you can also search the web itself for relevant information or images through a box in Word. So if you’re working on a research project, you can do your web research in Word (don’t forget the library, kids!), then highlight the relevant passage from a website, just click “insert,” and the material is added to your document.
Not only does this make OffiSync more useful, but it also illustrates what founder Oudi Antebi meant when he told Dean about plans for “Googleizing Microsoft Office.” OffiSync isn’t just trying to make two products work together; it’s also trying to build on Office and make it more web-like, the way a startup like Xobni adds more social features to Outlook. If OffiSync continues improving like this, it will be in a stronger position to compete when Microsoft releases its own online version of Office, Office 2010.
Other companies are trying to integrate web services with Microsoft software, too — Zoho released a version of its office tools for Microsoft Sharepoint, and Google recently announced that Google Apps synchronizes with Microsoft’s email program Outlook.
OffiSync is self-funded. The current version is free, but Antebi plans to charge for an enterprise version later on.