A while back, I wrote about Writely a web-based word processing application. I said it was a good chance to try a web-based app and reasonably functional.
Lots of folks must have felt that way because the site (which is still technically in beta testing stage) has a waiting list for prospective users. Just last week, I joined a collaborative book project and we intended using Writely as repository and tool for the entire project, until we learned that the beta has a 500 kb file size limit, which simply doesn't suit our project's needs. Yes, we could have worked around that, but decided not to, in an attempt to avoid confusion.
Today it was announced that Google bought Writely. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and even the co-founder of Writely is not yet sure what it all means, according to her blog on the Writely site. Plus, Google is hiring coders to work on improving Open Office. Evidence is piling up and, frankly, no one can tell me Google is not planning some offering in this sphere. They're pouring in too many resources to have any other plan.