An old favorite among the mobile tech community and mine from way back in the Windows Mobile days seems to be making a return to the mobile arena. SoftMaker the company in question in my opinion had the best desktop and mobile office suite of applications because it was not only compatible with Microsoft Office but in may ways it was quite superior. Their office suite consisted of TextMaker, PlanMaker and SoftMaker Presentations but, as good as it was, once Windows Mobile fell off it seemed like so did they, at least as far as mobile was concerned. After the iPhone was released many former WM users now iPhone users cried out for an iOS version which turned even louder following the release of the iPad but they refused seemingly due to the lack of the ability to sell their software outside of the App Store. Android, on the other hand does have that ability so that was the direction they decided to focus their energy on even though they still waited a long time before making that decision.
Fast forward to present time 2012 where SoftMaker has recently made a release candidate of their office suite for Android available for free called SoftMaker Office Mobile for Android. Although, I am an iOS user I am still very pleased to see them return to the mobile space. I also believe that they could be more successful than even Documents To Go and Quickoffice combined because SoftMaker does not merely offer a set of mobile applications that are Microsoft Office compatible. It’s a complete mobile office suite which also has it’s own desktop suite just like Apple has iWork for iOS and Mac. The only difference here is that it is a third party solution which if developed to the same level as their former WM version, it will also be superior to Microsoft’s Office Suite and all it’s mobile competitors. This will finally give the Android platform and it’s users a real and complete mobile office solution which it has been sorely lacking.
What’s really going to be fascinating to me is watching how all this plays out. Just last month Google acquired the company Quickoffice for their mobile office technology but they don’t have a desktop solution, only a conduit to transfer documents, spreadsheets and presentations from desktop to mobile (Android, iOS and Symbian S60). So with SoftMaker reentering the mobile market with what will likely be a superior product I’m curious to see if this acquisition was actually worthwhile or will it turn out to be a big waste of money and resources. I understand that Google wants their own set of applications to compete in the mobile space but when a third party software developer already has the entire equation solved it does make you wonder if starting basically from scratch is really a smart thing to do. In any case I will be watching all this very closely and I’m pretty sure SoftMaker will not disappoint.