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Google buys Divide in effort to expand corporate usage of Android smartphones, tablets

SAN FRANCISCO - Google has bought Divide, a startup that helps companies manage the mobile devices that employees are increasingly relying upon to get their work done.

Financial terms of the acquisition announced Monday were not disclosed. The deal is part of Google's effort to widen corporate usage of smartphones and tablets running on its mobile operating system, Android.

Google is counting on Divide's technology to make companies feel more comfortable about allowing their employees to use Android devices for business email and other on-the-job tasks involving sensitive information.

More than 1 billion devices worldwide already are powered by Android, making it the world's leading mobile operating system. Divide also offers an app for Apple Inc.'s iPhones. Although Divide is joining Android, the company reassured existing iPhone customers that their device-management tools will continue to work.

Divide, originally known as Enterproid, was founded four years ago by former Morgan Stanley executives who believed that the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets would drive more corporate demand for device-management tools.

The New York company has raised more than $25 million, including a $12 million round led by Google's venture-capital arm. Other early investors included the venture capital divisions of smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. and Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable and high-speed Internet service.

Besides its New York headquarters, Divide also has offices in London and Hong Kong.

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