Google Spreadsheet Is Here & Threatens Microsoft’s Market Share

According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Google will release a Web-based spreadsheet application Tuesday. It will first be available on a limited basis (i.e., some sort of beta). Microsoft is well aware and continues to invest in its own on-line services. Traditional desktop software (which is among Microsoft’s most profitable divisions) must change.

Update: Click here for Google’s Sneak Peak, and read on for more details…

The New York Times claims that, “…while it [Google Spreadsheet] can read and create files in the format used by Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program, it is not compatible with many of that program’s more powerful features.” The article goes on to explain that users will be able to edit the same document [spreadsheet] simultaneously.

News.com explains that Google Spreadsheets “…supports the import and export of documents in the .xls format used in Excel and the .csv (comma-separated values) format. Also, it looks like a Google account is required to use Google Spreadsheets. And lastly, “The service provides automatic saving, so once a document is saved for the first time it is saved upon every change, as well as enables easy transfer of data from cell to cell, inserting and deleting of rows and columns and supports multiple sheets or tabs.”

Reuters states that Google Spreadsheets simultaneous sharing limitation is ten users. The article also talks about Google Spreadsheets’ possible intergration with Google Base.

One question unaswered: Why no creative name? Google Spreadsheets?

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  • Nicolas Kassis

    One advantage is availability and the fact that my files will be available to me from anywhere. For corporation this won’t matter but for the normal folks this could be a killer app. I love gmail, and google calendar. Getting rid of Office completely with an online alternative will rock.

    Nic

  • Just Bill

    I think the ability to collaborate would be huge – imagine an AJAX driven spreadsheet editable by an entire team which is collborating over Google Talk.

  • http://www.plueballs.com plue

    Googles will be so far beyond the following that it’s funny, but there has been an ajax, web based, spreadsheet available a little while now called numsum
    numsum.com. It does okay I use it for work.

  • http://www.plueballs.com plue

    Messed up link
    numsum.com

  • gk

    alright…am glad to see that there are online applications that replace Office’s use through hard disks of various sorts and through emails and online transfers…however, what about security?…and about miss use of information on the servers where such information is kept?…

    i’ll be happy if any one can comment on that and help me with these questions.

    Thanks

    GK

  • http://www.computers.net Bob C.

    I too view security as the biggest hurdle in getting people to trust Google with their business data…

  • CA

    A good example of a web based spreadsheet is Jot spot Tracker – http://tracker.jot.com/

    The main advantages are collaboration with others, internal or external partners, and accessability from any PC

  • http://macbeach.blogspot.com mac beach

    “alright…am glad to see that there are online applications that replace Office’s use through hard disks of various sorts and through emails and online transfers…however, what about security?…and about miss use of information on the servers where such information is kept?…”

    Security will be a lot better on Google servers than it has been with everyone carrying data home on laptops. Since the “PC revolution” has been in full swing I don’t think there is a secure piece of data in the world, especially with everyone running Windows.

    But maybe the pendulum will swing in the other direction now so that (as we did in the 60s) critical data will reside on secure networks, and you will only see as much of the data as you need to get your job done, rather than as happened recently, someone to the entire Veterans administration data on discharged veterans home on a laptop (which got stolen). I had an old guy call me in a panic asking me if he thought he should have his name changed. I’d hate to be the guy that lost that laptop and meet my old pal face to face. He’d never touch a laptop again.

  • http://fota.blogspot.com Fota

    Doesn’t change a thing. At least, not in the near term.

    1) No large business is going to trust their data to Google. Google’s in the advertising business, not the data management business. Read the licensing agreements, they don’t guarantee ANY of your data. Imagine asking a company if they’d trust Leo Burnett with all of their corporate documents. Exactly, it’s an absurd notion.

    2) Are you telling me that non-Internet corporations are willing to let their lifeblood hang in the balance of their firewall, their internet connection, and the reliability of Google’s servers? Never.

    3) Feature wise, I’m sure it won’t hold a candle to Microsoft for a long, long time.

    4) The dreaded T-word: Training. This puts fear into the eyes of any dimwitted idiot working for a corporation and barely knows how to dial a phone. If our companies need to provide training for Word and Office now, god forbid training needs to be redone.

    5) Did I mention that no one would trust their data to Google?

  • Bob C.

    “…they don’t guarantee ANY of your data.”

    But Google has been known to move quickly. Of course they won’t guarantee anything. Just like gmail has been in eternal beta, so will this product.

    But once they gain confidence, licensing agreements may change…

  • http://shuzak.com Jawad Shuaib

    Google should go stealth with its products for a little while. The heat is on Google from all 5 computer giants. I love Google, so I would hate to see it go down.

  • http://macbeach.blogspot.com mac beach

    “1) No large business is going to trust their data to Google. Google’s in the advertising business, not the data management business. Read the licensing agreements, they don’t guarantee ANY of your data. Imagine asking a company if they’d trust Leo Burnett with all of their corporate documents. Exactly, it’s an absurd notion.”

    Show me where in the Microsoft EULA they guarantee ANY of your data. I thought not.

    They don’t even guarantee that their products will work properly.

    But for companies that want to at least have their data on their own premises, there is that nice Google pizza box that can be loaded up with any Google functionality you wish to have. Do I expect large companies to load all their sensitive data up to Google servers next week? No. But the average home user will no longer have the need to buy even the down-priced educational edition of Office, and small businesses will be able to start using this right away as an alternative to having their own server farm.

    The corporate-form of Gmail (which I’m already testing) along with the calendar function, Writely, and now this, pretty much eliminate the need for Office (or even a corporate server) for 99 percent of the worlds businesses. If the Fortune 500 can only function with Office, fine, MS can have them. MS will find themselves quickly priced out of the mainstream market in the same way that the big mainframe vendors did in the 80s. As will all technology that has matured (and spreadsheets are so mature they are on social security) prices have to come WAY down of the product just plain given away to keep market share up. Handwriting has been on the wall on this for years. MS has just been looking away, throwing chairs, etc.

  • http://fota.blogspot.com Fota

    “Show me where in the Microsoft EULA they guarantee ANY of your data. I thought not.”

    You’re right, but that IS their business and it is NOT Google’s. Microsoft directly makes money by the products they sell to manage information. If they don’t do that job, they lose business. Google directly makes money by selling advertising. If they lose your data, oops, that doesn’t affect their business model. See what I’m saying?

  • fabien

    > One question unaswered: Why no creative name? Google Spreadsheets?

    Maybe the essence of spreadseeting is not about poetic creativity :) Anyway, what many people love about Google product is that they are quite powerful while staying extremely simple to use; a simple, predictible name lets expect a simple, predictible behavior. That’s what most of people look for.

  • Joe Lombardo

    Will corporate America embrace Google spreadsheet?

    Almost Certainly.

    The Google spreadsheet that is being launched tomorrow will rightly scare the pants off of any business exec.

    When Google releases an enterprise Google office server that can Drastically reduce the cost of business operations (think install, configure, maintain and support costs for client side software), big business will come running. Client side apps will be reserved for the power users.

    Oh yeah, be carefull thinking of google as an “advertising business”. It is true that contextual advertising is their biggest revenue stream, but it isn’t their only business model.

  • http://os.newsforge.com/os/06/02/22/2221258.shtml Dave

    Mobility is not hard…$100 and some setup solves it,

    http://os.newsforge.com/os/06/02/22/2221258.shtml
    http://castle.pricewatch.com/s/search.asp?s=WD+Passport

    And still permits Google use if you want it, like any OS.

  • http://blogs.zohosheet.com Ramesh

    Hi,

    You might want to have a look at Zoho Sheet, an online spreadsheet service which supports collaboration, charting and more.

    Sign up for free at http://zohosheet.com

    Regards,
    Ramesh