Office Competitor Maker Rejects Google Offer

Haansoft, a Korean software firm that makes ThinkFree Office, an office productivity software suite, reported this week that it had rejected an offer from online giant Google to buy the product outright. Haansoft representatives say that the Google team that orchestrated the YouTube purchase has already met with Haansoft twice this month.

Haansoft offers a couple different versions of ThinkFree Office. One is a Web-based version, made to compete with Microsoft by offering online storage and easy file-sharing functionality; the other is a standard software application based on Java. Like many such products, the ThinkFree Office suite offers compatibility with Microsoft Office 2003 document formats and components that provide word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation functionality. The online version is free.

Haansoft says it is not interested in giving up control of ThinkFree but is open to a cooperative agreement with Google, which recently launched very basic Web-based word processing and spreadsheet solutions. Google claims it has no designs on the office productivity software market currently dominated by Microsoft, but it's been moving slowly in that direction for several months.

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