Google mum on corporate plans for word processing application

Google this week brought its Web-based word processing application back online for new users and said expanding its collaboration features would be the focus of development going forward.

Company officials, however, were mum on whether development of the application, called Writely, would include features targeted for corporations.

Before Google bought Writely developer Upstartle in March, the small company said it planned to introduce a premium Writely service, presumably for a fee, that was geared toward corporations and corporate workgroups and would include document- and user-specific permissions as well as password-protected documents and user accounts.

"A premium-level service is possible," says Jennifer Mazzon, senior product marketing manager for Google. "There are examples of other Google services, such as [Picasa], that offer a paid level of service. It is possible we could do something like that in the future, but nothing is set in stone. We have not made any decisions. Our focus is to continue to learn from users."

This week, Google reopened registration for Writely after a five-month hiatus during which the application was moved to Google's infrastructure, and notified users on a waiting list that they now could sign up for accounts. Google would not say how many users the Writely application has attracted.

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