Corporate Profile – Writely

September 8, 2006 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

Profile: Writely

Company: Upstartle, acquired by Google, Inc. in 2006

Location: Silicon Valley

Launch Date: August 2005 (beta)

In the company’s own words, what is it?

The Web Word Processor
· Share documents instantly & collaborate real-time. Pick exactly who can access your documents.
· Edit your documents from anywhere. Nothing to download — your browser is all you need.
· Store your documents securely online. Offsite storage plus data backup every 10 seconds.
· Easy to use. Clean, uncluttered screens with a familiar, desktop feel.
· Can I … upload from Word? YES!
· Can I … save to my desktop? YES!
· Can I … publish on the web? YES!
· Can I … post on my blog? YES!

Outside quote about company:

Quoted by Wikipedia: Writely is a web-based word processor currently in beta and owned by Google. It can be used as a collaborative text editing suite, and features access controls. Writely’s user interface is a WYSIWYG word processor that appears within a web browser. Menus, keyboard shortcuts, and dialogue boxes show up in a way similar to what you would expect on a GUI-driven word processor, such as Microsoft Word or

Immediately following the acquisition by Google in early 2006, Writely stopped accepting new registrations for approximately five months. When the service re-opened to the public on August 21, 2006, it had been relocated to Google’s servers but surprisingly not integrated into the company’s suite of web services and utilities. [1]


There is no overall storage limit for files. However, text files cannot exceed 500KB and images cannot exceed 2MB. An important feature is the ability to save all files made in Writely as the following formats: MS Word (.doc), Postscript (.ps), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and ODF (.odt), files that can be opened, edited, and printed in many office suites, making interoperability easier. Other output options for Writely files include basic HTML and PDF. However, Writely previously stated that PDF could actually become a premium feature once out of beta testing, and Google has not contradicted that. The “PDF Producer” field in PDF files produced by Writely is “ 2.0”, due to the fact that the engine is used to output Word, OpenDocument, and PDF files.

Another feature is integration with blogging servers, including Google’s own Blogger. After server configuration, users can simply press a button to upload their new post. Writely uses Ajax. It has been described as an example of a “Web 2.0” system. Writely has developed a Writely module for the personalized homepage website, Netvibes.

Google acquisition

Writely is technically the product and Upstartle is the company that owned, developed, and maintained it. However, Writely has been used in reference to the company, and has been adopted as the de facto company name. On March 9, 2006, Writely was acquired by Google. At the time it was acquired by Google, Upstartle had four employees.

Writely had closed down registrations to its service until the move to Google servers was complete. In August 2006, Writely began sending account invitations to those who had requested to be placed on a waitlist and planned to have everyone on the waitlist invited by the end of the summer. On August 23, 2006, Writely finished sending out all invitations and became publicly available. Writely account owners can invite others to Writely by adding them as collaborators to a Writely document.

Writely currently runs on Microsoft ASP.NET technology. This, however, is believed to be incompatible with Google’s support of Linux-based technologies. There has been speculation that Writely will be ported to run on Linux using the Mono project, which Google has supported. [2]

Screen Shots:

Relevant Links:

CNET editors’ review
Google’s Blog about Writely


Entry filed under: ajakwrite, blog, blogging, blogs, business network, cnet, gadget, google, google desktop, google news, google writely, internet, media, microsoft, microsoft vista, microsoft word, MSN, News, online, online business, online community, online privacy, pirvacy, privacy, rss writely netvibes, social, tech, TechCrunch, Technology, Technology and Gadgets, technorati, university, web, web 2.0, weblog, widget, widgets, Word, word processor, wordpress, writely, zoho writer.

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