Google to Introduce Spreadsheet Program

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,400
12,510
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060605/google_spreadsheet.html?.v=3

Google to Introduce Spreadsheet Program in Latest Shot at Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google Inc. will introduce a spreadsheet program Tuesday, continuing the Internet search leader's expansion into territory long dominated by Microsoft Corp.

Although it's still considered a work in progress, Google's online spreadsheet will offer consumers and businesses a free alternative to Microsoft's Excel application -- a product typically sold as part of the Office software suite that has been a steady moneymaker for years.


To avoid swamping the company's computers, Google's spreadsheet initially will be distributed to a limited audience. Google also wants more time to smooth out any possible kinks and develop more features, said Jonathan Rochelle, the product manager of the new application.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company planned to begin accepting sign-ups for the spreadsheet at 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday through the "labs" section of its Web site. Rochelle wouldn't specify how many people will be granted access to the spreadsheet application.

Google's spreadsheet isn't as sophisticated as Excel. For instance, the Google spreadsheet won't create charts or provide a menu of controls that can be summoned by clicking on a computer mouse's right-hand button.

Rochelle said the program's main goal is to make it easier for family, friends or co-workers to gain access to the same spreadsheet from different computers at different times, enabling a group of authorized users to add and edit data without having to e-mail attachments back and forth.

"We are totally focused on the sharing aspect," he said.

Although distributing software over the Internet gives more people greater access to programs, the approach requires trusting a custodian like Google to save and protect the information from unauthorized users.

That's a leap many security-conscious companies are unwilling to make and something consumers may be reluctant to do amid rising concerns of government snooping.

The spreadsheet represents Google's latest software application to be tethered to an Internet connection instead of a single computer's hard drive. Google acquired an online word processing application called Writely in March and rolled out a calendar service a few weeks later.

All of those free programs pose a possible threat to Microsoft, which established itself as the world's largest software maker by selling its Windows operating system and complementary applications that run on the platform.

As Google invades its turf, Microsoft has been mounting its own attack by investing heavily in Internet search.

Microsoft's assault hasn't hurt Google yet, but some industry analysts believe the competitive landscape could shift early next year with the release of Vista -- the long-delayed upgrade to the Windows operating system.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,241
1
Washington D.C
O YES!!! There is a Mac one right?

At 9.10 o'clock.. well isn't it nice i have computer class :) I'll going to get a copy of that if it kills me!

Now Google.. release a Word Alternative and your golden(assuming it can beat pages, which i love but i know others are force to use Word)
 

calyxman

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2005
610
0
If I can't create sophisticated charts, access a large library of functions, create sophisticated array formulas, design pivot table reports, implement web controls, or program macros and create custom GUIs with an extended object library, then Google's offering is meaningless to me.

Hate to say this, but Microsoft will be king of the spreadsheet applications for a long time.
 

MoparShaha

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2003
1,634
22
San Francisco
calyxman said:
Hate to say this, but Microsoft will be king of the spreadsheet applications for a long time.
Yeah, I love Excel! :)

But, I suppose Google's offering might be good for people who do "simple" things with spreadsheets. You can't beat free.
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,868
6
Illinois
I like this idea though.

Perhaps this is the beginning of a two-party software industry, instead of just MS.
 

Cinch

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2005
479
2
zap2 said:
O YES!!! There is a Mac one right?

At 9.10 o'clock.. well isn't it nice i have computer class :) I'll going to get a copy of that if it kills me!

Now Google.. release a Word Alternative and your golden(assuming it can beat pages, which i love but i know others are force to use Word)
Google just brought Writely, which implies that they are working on transforming existing code to make a web based wordprocessor. I saw the Writely GUI, and it is no Aqua.

If this spreadsheet can do basic functions e.g. concatenate, sum etc. I'm game. I think it is not a question of if but when an Office replacement comes along for free. Sun tried to do it, but I think they just had an axe to grind with MSFT. I guess you can't compete effectively on emotion alone. However, I think Google will do it. I love Google's business model: Invent a product that people want to use, give it away for free, then try to make money off of it. I think the internet in its current state will only take this model. Be warn iTunes, Ebay, Yahoo and MSFT!

Cinch
 

baleensavage

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
622
0
On an island in Maine
Call me paranoid, but I don't like the idea of Google having copies of everyone's spreadsheets on their servers. Next thing you know the governement is subpoena-ing them and now all your private info is available for the taking without you even knowing a thing. I'll stick to files on my computer.
 

weldon

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2004
642
0
Denver, CO
Has anyone gotten access yet? I signed up but obviously haven't heard received an invitation yet. I've read a few early reviews (mostly favorable) but I'm curious what the limit is on number of rows. I'm curious if you could build a poor-man's web database using API's.