Google SpreadSheets is dominating the headlines today. Some rather interesting reactions from across the web, though the ones which stand out are stinging. “How seriously are real users supposed to take this stuff? Google could cut off any of these playtoys anytime, doubly so if they […]

Google SpreadSheets is dominating the headlines today. Some rather interesting reactions from across the web, though the ones which stand out are stinging.

“How seriously are real users supposed to take this stuff? Google could cut off any of these playtoys anytime, doubly so if they ever whiff on a quarter and investors force them to focus on things that generate revenue,” asks Paul Kedrosky.

Instead of me adding anymore to what has been said by others, here is a little poll which lets you the ultimate users speak their mind.

  1. Personally, I think this is huge. I liken it to the first spreadsheet Visicalc. Big minds can see the future impact… and it is huge!

  2. Frankly I wonder about “sharing” company information in GSheet or GWrite files, even though it’s just with Google.

  3. Contrary to what Google recently stated, I truly believe that Google is working on their own web browser or looking to buy an appropriate candidate, such as Opera.

    In addition, to the wifi-enabled cities, backbone fiber networks, and Microsoft Office-competing packages of free software tools (including Google Spreadsheets), Google is positioning itself to take control of the entire Internet supply chain.

    The rumoured “Google Office” package will blur the line between online and offline applications. The average user is not used to using a word processor or spreadsheet online, and the added capabilities of collaboration and location-shifting will create a whole new dynamic.

  4. what Aidan said might be true… in about 3-5 years.

    in the short-run (ie, next 4-8 quarters) nothing changes.

    therein lies Google’s advantage — but only if they really are playing for the long term. what remains to be seen is if as a public company they are driven by the same quarterly & annual cycles that drive MSFT and all other big companies… or whether they really are different.

    jury’s still out.

  5. Michael Kremin Tuesday, June 6, 2006

    With heightened security in all aspects of our lives and business, along with privacy issues, I find it hard to imagine that any corporation (other than those with minimal assets) would embrace using office/business applications in a free Web environment. Sun can barely give StarOffice away, so what impact can Google have on the corporate software market? Sure a few consumers and non-profits that cannot afford Office may use this, but few others. I am willing to pay my license fees for security and stability of my software provider, even for my own personal business.

    Let us remember – you get what you pay for, and there is no free lunch.

  6. WTF cares. Google is like a rock band. They create to please themselves and if the creation makes money then its a plus. What’s this “real user” BS? Google creates for all users. “Real users” is a pretty lame term because google makes most of their money off of whatever the opposite of “real users” is. I would assume “real users” avoid clicking google ads when searching.

    I guess there is really nothing in the news today. When there is no news I guess writers just pick up something from the Big Three. I just wish someone would see the thousands of articles and figure something else to write about.

  7. The issue is not whether business users can/want a mini-excel online, as much as it is what can Google pave the way for. Look at what Google did in the mapping space. Here, once more, they are disrupting the marketplace and doing two things at once: 1) making complex and/or expensive technology available for free and putting incumbents on the defensive, 2) giving new tools to millions of users to do whatever they please with – including data entry that may prove usueful to Google Base, and help ad revenue too, since ad based search engines strive on structured data.

  8. How many engineers did it take to produce Google spreadsheet? Two? Three? And how many other people did it take to launch? 3 more? What’s the result of 6 people’s efforts for 6 months?

    The press is falling over themselves trying to figure out “the implications of this announcement.” Microsoft has to spend marketing and PR cycles trying to explain to everyone why “this isn’t as powerful as Excel” in the same article which offers a “balance opinion” from analysts say that it is.

    So, for 3 staff-years, Eric Schmidt gets to make Microsoft look like its standing still again and wastes more of their C-Level execs time reacting instead of acting. Pay back is a bitch.

  9. I wouldn’t mind them continuing producing these little useful apps if they also produced something profitable. There’s so much they could be doing, but nothing they’ve come out with recently has been profitable to them, much less very successful.

    I’m still waiting for them to do two things really well:

    1. Drop their current Google Video and rebuild it exactly like ABC’s online video service. Leave the user-generated content to YouTube. Have a great looking, easy to use interface with tv shows in HD. Have the commercials work just like ABC’s, and make money sharing the profits with the show producers. Set up an Adsense for Video, and they could even put up old shows you can’t find anywhere else (anyone miss Get Smart?) and make a ton of money on the commercials. This is where the money is in online video: reproducing video I actually want to watch – and willing to watch commercials to see it – online, when they aren’t available anywhere else.

    2. Get their wifi in order. It’s too costly to set up their own wifi hotspots just to make them ad-supported. I think what they’re doing now is just getting all the kinks worked out of it, then they’re going to open it to the public. Imagine if I could download Google Wifi Setup Wizard which let me set up my home’s wifi as an open, ad-supported wifi spot, so anyone who logged on would get google ads, and I get a percentage of the revenue. Everyone turns into a wifi provider.

    Google just needs to show us they are actually spending some time working on something profitable, at least a little bit.

  10. Paul, have you ever heard of Directions @ Microsoft ? They probably had set themselves a right goal in 1999. But after the .Com crash, they just did a “U” turn and lost vision of the web. Google’s goal is to become the number one Web-Services company in the Galaxy. As told by Rob Cringley, they seldom discuss their goals in public, but if something fails they are fast enough to burn it and move on.

    They have the same goal as that of other Open Source vendors. All these products will mature over a period of time and different versions of the product will be priced. For example, they will make money selling Google Search, Gmail, GTalk, Writely, Google Spreadsheet, Google Remote Presentation, etc as a service to corporates.


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