Upstartle, a small, private Portola Valley company that makes Web-based word processing software, has been bought by Google, who have set their sights on providing a wider range of more traditional computing services. The move would seem to be about augmenting the search and e-mail products Google already offers for the consumer desktop, and may see Google come in close competition with Microsoft.

"Google finally joins dozens of competitors trying to make inroads here, via a small acquisition," Alan Yates, general manager for Microsoft Office Information Worker Product Management Group, said in a statement.