Techcrunch are reporting that Google is looking to acquire San Francisco based DocVerse for around $25 million.

If you’ve not heard of DocVerse before, it’s an interesting looking plug-in for Microsoft Word, Power Point and Excel, which allows real-time collaboration of office documents.  

What’s strange about this deal is that Google already supports similar technology within Google Docs?   Why would it want to extend this to Microsoft Office – especially when the upcoming Office 2010 version will also support this?   Google also recently bought Appjet, supplier of another collaboration tool called EtherPad which they’re now working to integrate into Google Wave, however this has since been released as open source.

The deal must be a particularly bitter one for Microsoft, as the two founders of DocVerse – Shan Sinha and Alex deNeui are both ex-Microsoft employees, having worked on SQL and Sharepoint.

Looks like both Microsoft and Google can see the benefit in online office collaboration and are rushing to be the first to corner the market.

Who will win?   Only time will tell….