Just a couple of days after buying Tonic, which gave the company a PowerPoint-style application to add to its growing toolbox of Office apps, Google has announced that it is buying Marratech, a company that makes a NetMeeting-type video-conferencing tool and is based in Sweden.
This isn’t all that surprising, of course, since Google has clearly been building a Web-based Office suite ever since it bought Writely, which became Google Docs. One thing that surprises me, however, is that the application requires a download — unlike some of the other Web-based presentation or conferencing apps, such as Vyew and Zoho Meeting. I haven’t tried Zoho Meeting, but I have tried Vyew and it was easy to use and cross-platform (as is Zoho’s app, since it comes in an ActiveX, Java or Flash version). But what I don’t get is why Google wqould pin its hopes on something that requires a download.
I know that they could bundle it with the rest of the Google apps that you can download as part of the Google Desktop, as Mike points out, but I still sort of look at Google as being the king of the “works anywhere” Web-based app. Moving to something that requires a download is kind of an odd step, I think. Just my two cents. (screenshot via Amit Agarwal)