An Olive swirling in a rumor martini

We’ve been doing some work with Olive Software so found this item on John Battelle’s Searchblog intriguing:

Withdrawing the Branch from Olive

Despite rumors the past few weeks that Google was going to buy Olive for $75 million, after looking the software company up and down in a week of intensive interviews Google then walked away. Olive software converts various data files (like PDFs, microfilm) into xml, accessible to search.

Is it a coincidence that a large portion of Olive’s employes are based in Israel and Google opening new offices in Israel? Silicon Beat muses: Is Google turning into a Microsoft? Checking out the goods, and then going back and building it themselves? Or hiring away the better employees? Here’s what one person said: “Google learned a LOT about Olive… everything.”

Olive has some very interesting technology. I’m not surprised someone would see them as a possible acquisition target. But did Google want the company or the technology?