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Google Spreadsheets: taking aim at MS Office June 6, 2006

Posted by exertia in Internet, News.
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After offering an online alternative to Word by acquiring the online word processor Writely, Google has now launched Google Spreadsheets as an online rival to Excel. NYTimes reports:

  • It would make it possible for as many as 10 people to simultaneously edit a spreadsheet document online and chat about it using Google’s instant messaging program.
  • The new service will be able to handle several hundred formulas used to manipulate data in Excel, but not more complex functions like macros.
  • The ability for many people to collaborate was quite different from the standard method of e-mailing files back and forth.

It allows uploads of existing Excel or Comma-separated values (CSV) files and your work can be exported into Excel, CSV or HTML formats. The service currently lacks charts functionality but one can imagine a creative mind at Google linking up the Spreadsheets with Google Gapminder (covered in an earlier post) to create professional charts.

These tools can really open up the vistas for online collaborative working especially between people in different locations / countries. Also, the startup costs and installation efforts are minimal (zero!) enabling mass adoption in developing economies.

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