Google Spreadsheets

Google Spreadsheets

Back in March Google turned some heads with its purchase of Writely, a collaborative web-based word processor. Yesterday it made waves again with Google Spreadsheets, a web-based app whose purpose isn't necessary to explain. Google Spreadsheets is no Excel-killer by any means, but from the ten minutes or so of poking around I've done, it seems a lot nicer than any of its web-based competition like ajaxXLS, Numbler, iRows, or WikiCalc. Like those others, it's naturally full to the brim with Ajax, but I think what sticks out most is how responsive it is and how easy it is to use coming from years of being trained by Excel. There is a bit of JavaScript lag, but not enough to bug me, and the most common Excel keyboard shortcuts are all present. It of course has the requisite import and export features for both .XLS and .CSV files, plus a nice Export HTML function, and you can invite people via e-mail to view or edit your spreadsheets. Google Spreadsheets will have little draw for people who just use Excel to keep track of, say, personal expenses, but if you need easy web-based collaboration in a tidy package and can forego some-well, almost all–of Excel's more advanced features, Google Spreadsheets is worth checking out.

It's been noted many places that Google now has almost an entire Office-alike (sans PowerPoint) in its collection: Gmail/Google Calendar vs. Outlook, Writely vs. Word, Google Spreadsheets vs. Excel, Google Base vs. Access. What they have is a long way from being an Office-killer–in fact, it seems more like a hodge-podge of unconnected tools rather than a suite, and I think integrating these disparate tools is high on Google's to-do list. Whether they're really looking to usurp Microsoft's Office throne is still pretty unknowable in my opinion, but I do hope they're going somewhere with all of this.

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One Response to Google Spreadsheets

  1. Tony says:

    Hi! This is Tony from Team and Concepts.

    Alongside of your mentioned products, there’s also EditGrid which you may wish to put on the list also. It has incorporated Real-Time-Update which distinguishes themselves from the others (excepts Numbler, who are friends of RTU also), long before google spreadsheet has implemented it.

    Give a try?

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