Talking with Joe Kraus about the JotSpot acquisition

Just had a conversation with Joe Kraus, JotSpot’s co-Founder and CEO. We discussed today’s acquisition announcement, and here’s what Joe had to say. Google was attracted to JotSpot because the JotSpot wiki fits in well with its current lineup (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Apps for Your Domain ), helps it further reach a market it’s interested in, and as a technology platform has a strong set of tools. Regarding education specifically, Joe commented that Google’s overall approach of offering tools free or at low-cost makes them attractive and accessible to the education market. It’s obvious to anyone following developments in the Web 2.0 arena that Google is building a suite of collaborative office tools, and as much as Google’s moves are viewed as potential competition for Microsoft Office, I think Google is focused on building office tools that are very different from those found in Microsoft Office because the common thread linking them all is collaboration. As Joe described it to me, the first wave of office tools were focused on getting the maximum productivity from an individual’s non-networked computer, and the second wave tools emerging now are focused on building a strong platform for collaboration, which in turn builds productivity because it takes advantage of the increasingly collaborative way people work.

The JotSpot Affiliate Program will be discontinued, since the company has moved to the Google practice of offering its services free of charge. The JotSpot API will continue to be available to current users, as will the JotSpot Developer Connection. (Incidentally on the developer connection blog Scott McMullan, JotSpot’s Director of Developer Relations, speaks very positively about the Google acquisition strengthening reliablility and scalability.) JotSpot’s existing Solution Partners will continue working with existing customers as well.

Further coverage of the deal is available on the Google Blog (2), JotSpot Blog, and here’s an article from CNET News.com.

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