Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google Office is Forming

First it was internet search. Then it was photo editing and sharing with Picasa. Then there was Gmail, followed by the acquisition of Writley, a web-based word processing program, the creation of GoogleTalk (Google's Chat service), as well as a calendar program.
Yesterday, Google rolled out it's latest edition to it's online portfolio of office essential programs, Google Spreadsheets. Now, Google Spreadsheets is on a very limited beta test stage, and you have to be invited by Google to be a tester. Unfortunately for me, even though I have downloaded every type of software Google has, they didn't feel the need to send me an invite. Oh well.
So what does Google Spreadsheets mean? With Spreadsheets, Calendar, and Writely; is it the end of Microsoft Office as we know it? My answer: inconclusive.
In a perfect world, you would be able to use the internet wirelessly anywhere. The huge drawback of all of Google's offerings is the majority of them require an internet connection to use. Until I can do all of my work wirelessly, on a reliable network, I will always use Outlook for e-mail (although I prefer the GMail interface) and for calendar (as I can't access Google's Calendar or even post events without being there) and Word and Excel for my report and database management needs.
The huge breakthrough with Google Spreadsheets is the ability to work on a spreadsheet simultaneously with other users, and communicate via a chat window. Excel still offers many more features, but for a new spreadsheet user, looking for a way to work with a team (i.e. a small business or school team), Google Spreadsheets may be that answer.
So until Google sends me my invite, and creates a nation-wide, free wireless internet service, this is all I can say about Google Spreadsheets.

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