Microsoft’s productivity suite is in the crosshairs again — this time, by upstart Quip.

This week Quip expanded its focus beyond mobile to the wider business community with the release of native desktop apps.

While it has always been possible to access Quip’s productivity tools through its desktop web app, native apps are a different ball game. According to Chief Operating Officer Molly Graham Quip Desktop can work both online and offline, just like Microsoft Office. But Quip is 2.6 times faster, she claims.

Quip’s Market Strategy

Quip is free to download and offers word processing and spreadsheet capabilities. It has a management team with a serious pedigree including founder and former Facebook CTO Brett Taylor.

It's already picked up some serious clients like Instagram and CNN. In fact, Quip claims its clients include 30,000 companies with millions of users around the world.

Early last year the desktop web app accounted for only 20 percent of Quip’s daily use. Now it's grown to 50 percent, driven almost exclusively by the rapidly growing number of people using Quip at work.

“Most people in the world still use a native desktop app — Microsoft Office — to write their documents, and for good reason: native desktop apps are faster, work offline and can provide a user experience that the web still can’t match. So we decided to match that experience by bringing Quip natively to your Mac and PC,” Graham said.

Why a Desktop App?

“We're looking to create a world where transitioning between online and offline and across your devices is seamless,” Graham said.

Learning Opportunities

She said Quip Desktop offers a "vision for how cloud software should work."

Once you sign in to Quip, every document in your company is available, offline or online, on all your devices. "It blurs the line between a desktop app and a cloud service,“ she said.

Quip vs. the Gorillas

Unlike market productivity suite leaders like Microsoft and Google, Graham said Quip has a single focus, which lets it develop products faster and more responsively.

“Quip has collaboration and multi-device use at its heart and in its DNA, whereas Office and Google were built for the era of the desktop and the single-user file attachment. We believe the way people work is rapidly changing and that new tools are required to meet that change,” Graham added.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Title image by Beth Rankin.