CloudOn Inc. will allow iPad owners to use Microsoft Office and Adobe, with the launch of CloudOn 2.0, which enables users to create and access Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Although there is already a range of software for these tasks, Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) opted not to launch special applications for iPad's made by rival Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).
The CloudOn 2.0 is a free, cloud-based service.
CloudOn CEO Milind Gadekar told "Globes", "We took the most popular program, Office, and connected it with a Dropbox. With no marketing, and in under three months, we had almost one million downloads of the application."
Gadekar, CTO Shuki Binyamin and VP engineering Meir Morgenstern founded CloudOn in 2009. The company has raised $10 million, and is currently in the midst of a new financing round, which it expects to close within a couple of months. It is also hiring 75 employees, to boost its 23-person workforce.
CloudOn 2.0 is available via App Stores in the US, Canada, and the UK, but not in Israel, even though the company has its development center here. Like users in other countries, Israelis have to go to App Store in one of these countries to download the app. The Hebrew version of the app is not fully operational either.
"Word supports many languages, and we only have to activate this," says Gedakar, who intends to raise capital in Israel, but has not yet set a date for an Israel launch.
CloudOn's business model is based on a free product for a limited period. "We want to understand what people want," says Gedakar. "We'll create a freemium model (free downloads, but pay premium services - T.H.), so there will always be something for free."
CloudOn plans to launch a version of the app for Android-based tablets, and it does not rule out a version for the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system. It expects competition from Microsoft, which is reportedly planning to shortly launch an Office version for iPads. Gedakar is not worried. "We're building the product to connect with every service and application, when companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple don’t want to connect with each other. We enable use between these three services."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 11, 2012
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