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History of Google Docs: Wikis


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This article covers the history of Google Docs, a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service offered by Google. Google Docs originated from two separate products, Writely and Google Spreadsheets. Writely was a web-based word processor created by the software company Upstartle and launched in August 2005.[1] Spreadsheets, launched as Google Labs Spreadsheets on June 6, 2006,[2] originated from the acquisition of the XL2Web product by 2Web Technologies. Writely's original features included a collaborative text editing suite and access controls. Menus, keyboard shortcuts, and dialog boxes are similar to what users may expect in a desktop word processor such as Microsoft Word or Writer.

On March 9, 2006, Google announced that it had acquired Upstartle.[3] At the time of acquisition, Upstartle had four employees.[4] Writely closed registration to its service until the move to Google servers was complete.[3] In August 2006, Writely sent account invitations to everyone who had requested to be placed on a waiting list, and then became publicly available on August 23. Writely continued to maintain its own user system until September 19, 2006, when it was integrated with Google Accounts.[5]

Writely originally ran on Microsoft ASP.NET technology which uses Microsoft Windows. Since July 2006, Writely servers appear to be running a Linux-based operating system.[6]

Meanwhile, Google developed Google Spreadsheets using the technology it had acquired from 2Web Technologies in 2005 and launched Google Labs Spreadsheets[2][7] on June 6, 2006 as the first public component of what would eventually become Google Docs. It was initially made available to only a limited number of users, on a first-come, first-served basis. The limited test was later replaced with a beta version available to all Google Account holders, around the same time as a press release was issued.[8]

  • In February 2007, Google Docs was made available to Google Apps users.
  • In June 2007, Google changed the front page to include folders instead of labels, organized in a side bar.
  • On July 6, 2009, Google announced on their official blog that Google Docs along with other Google Apps would be taken out of beta.[10]
  • On January 13, 2010, Google announced on their official blog that Google Docs would allow any file type, including 1GB of free space and $0.25/GB for additional storage.[11]
  • On January 29, 2010, Google announced that support for IE6 would end on March 1.[12]

See also




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