Google is hoping to launch an office software suite that mimics Microsoft Office, according to the developer of the software.
However, the Korea-based creator of the ThinkFree suite is reluctant to sell it to Google, an executive at the firm said.
The Google team that handled the recent purchase of YouTube has met twice this month with representatives of ThinkFree Corp, according to Jong-jin Baek, the president of ThinkFree's parent company, Haansoft.
Google's intention is to acquire ThinkFree, Baek claimed in interviews with Korean media over the weekend.
ThinkFree has developed several versions of a Java-based office suite that can run online inside a web browser, or in a standalone version.
The software has attracted generally positive reviews, although there have been some complaints about bugs and instability. The online version is available free of charge.
ThinkFree Office is often described as a 'Microsoft Office clone' because it deliberately mimics the layout of menus and toolbars in Microsoft's Office suite. It can open and save files in Microsoft Office formats.
The cross-platform suite imitates most of the key functions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but lacks some of the more sophisticated features of Microsoft's software.
Haansoft does not want to give up control of ThinkFree, but hopes to form a cooperative alliance to offer the software together with Google, Baek told the Korea Times. However, he maintained that Google is not keen on this idea.
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