I saw on the BBC News site that Google have re-launced their online spreadsheet "in yet another challenge to archrival Microsoft."
Well as I have a few mins spare this morning I decided to give the re-launched product a look.V1.1.6b (I passed on it the first time around)
According to Google the main re-launch seems to be:
- Having a unified entry point with Writely
- Multiple Lines in a Cell
- Public sharing
- Printing ability
- Cell borders
- The ability to insert columns, rows and sheets
Having had a play for half an hour my conclusion is that its ok if you are doing lists and simple small spreadsheets or if concurrent collaboration is a big requirement. If you need to do more or the collaboration features are not a must then I dont see any reason to use this as opposed to Excel or any of the other free spreadsheets available.
Update: Robert Scoble asks if Microsoft have heard Google starting their engine. I would say that yes they have – they have a better already developed in Excel Services and are establishing the Office Live brand. Where they are doing better than Google is thinking about who their audience really is and working it through. They are looking at the placement of spreadsheets in a company, interacting with other back office systems like CRM, distribution within a company structure and so on. I would suppose that 90% of spreadsheet users are within a business environment and to work in that environment you need a much bigger proposition that the one being put forward by Google.
I would say that Microsoft have heard the Google engine but it is in the distance because it is racing in a different race.
Its a business and market issue and not a technology issue.