Google Spreadsheets Launching Today
In what may be a nice break from all of the unusually boring, complicated and ‘over your head’ releases from Google in the past 6 months (not including Google Calendar), Google is now due to release Google Spreadsheet today; an online spreadsheet program similar to Excel.
Google Spreadsheet may be the first of an entire suite of Google Office products & Google OS desktop applications for the ‘always on’ generation of publishing, project sharing and online data storage. This new direction of ‘in your face’ competition with Microsoft Office comes after Google’s partnership with Sun Microproducts / OpenOffice.org and their acquiring of the makers of Writely, which is a pretty impressive online web processing application in its own right (write).
Googleâ€™s Spreadsheet application is due to be released in limited beta testing today (keep an eye on Google Labs) and it would add on to their existing range of services and applications targeted at the primary market of software giants and rivals Microsoft.
Google claims that this program would be a work in development and would be focused on sharing capabilities. It wonâ€™t feature the advanced capabilities of applications like MS Excel but would provide an easy and free alternative to users who want to get access to spreadsheets anywhere.
From the AP:
[Google] 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.
This might become a public beta after a while after Google smooth out any possible kinks and develop more features. Several of the companyâ€™s recent applications have totally overwhelmed Googleâ€™s servers leading to problems for regular users of their services. They are taking it slow and safely now.