Google Spreadsheet, Not iRows

24 Comments

Updated: First an online word-processing software and now a spreadsheet – yup, Google is building an online office suite. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google Spreadsheet will “be made available on a limited test Basis.” The New York Times says Jonathan Rochelle is the Google Spreadsheets product manager, who was the founder of XL2Web. WSJ, however, did not reveal which company Google just snapped up. My sources say that ithere is good chance, the company that got acquired is iRows. News.com reports that it is will be made available via Google Labs. We shall know more details tomorrow when the company announces the product.

24 Comments

Anonymous

Tom’s comments about 2Web Technologies and Om Malik not being able to see the reference. Fourth paragraph down, simple to spot.

Here’s the paragraph in full:

The service supports Microsoft Excel documents as well as the CSV format, and is based on technology from a company called 2Web Technologies that Google acquired last year, a company spokesperson told vnunet.com.

I know this thread is months old, but hey, thought Tom deserved his moment of fame – he wrote the article after all!

saurab

Looks like a good collaborative product. i think they’ve done a good job tying it in with their IM service. it’ll be interesting to see what the adoption rate is like. definitely not for enterprise users, but would be useful for small-time team projects that require collaboration.

I think they’ll also integrate this into the gmail interface, if the initial reaction to the product is good.

GMail is really the one app that can tie a lot of google services together.

Don Dodge

Google is directly competing with open source projects like OpenOffice and Sun’s free StarOffice.

Google acquired Writely (word processing) and now has a spreadsheet. There was speculation last year that Google would partner with Sun to offer a version of StarOffice. Instead Google has decided to go its own way and compete with OpenOffice and StarOffice.

C/Net says “Google spreadsheets turns up heat on Excel” I don’t think so. Microsoft Office is a powerful, industrial strength, client based, information worker productivity platform. Microsoft Office is moving beyond just being a collection of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) to being a server based application platform for ISVs. Lots of companies run their business on Excel spreadsheets. Now creative start-ups are using Office as a front end User Interface to a whole variety of business applications.

I wrote a blog on this subject today http://dondodge.typepad.com/thenextbigthing/2006/06/googlecompetin.html

Philip Cunningham

If you want to organise the world’s information, it is a lot easier if it is in your format.

The spreadsheet product isn’t for company budgets and other internal grinding, where you have all the “is my data safe stored outside the building” and “my macro can do more than yours” issues. There might be some Microsoft Office deflections, but that’s surely a bonus.

Google HAD to do a spreadsheet because it is simply the best, most flexible, easy to use database currently available. It and Writey are nice big widgets, not serious standalone programs. The future is what you can do with them.

A spreadsheet gets data into Google in a slightly more structured format. Think a GUI for GoogleBase. Think integration into Google page creator, then look at anycalc.com, powered by XL2Web, which just happens to have been founded by Jonathan Rochelle, the Google spreadsheet product manager. The analogy is Google Earth and the acquisition of SketchUp.

Instead of the baroque complexity of Office and its islands of data, give people a tool to use information. Spreadsheet and Writely are just seamless components of that vision. You win by changing the rules, not by a feature-for-feature race with Excel or Word.

BurtDensmore

If its a Google , then it has to be a goodie …Now if they can only come up with a Kick Ass O/S and blow it out the Window.

Rick

For small companies and individuals, I truly believe the risk for most users is greater on their own desktop than with Google secured storage. I’m a security fanatic, yet I see such a high risk in security today that a Google app really doubles as a useful tool and a secure mechanism, above and beyond 90% of users.

Raul

No surprise here. Who will be next, thumbstacks for presentation software or Gliffy for diagramming? Then what about MS Access or Project-like apps?

Security will be a concern for enterprises as a lot of companies do not allow their documents to be remotely stored.

Dave Donohue

Tom – I don’t see a reference to 2Web in that story…was it maybe another one that you were thinking of or do you think the vnunet story has been revised?

Om Malik

Dave and all – I updated the story. I think iRows is not the one. It was a bit of a false alarm. I apologize to all readers.

Dave

I don’t think it will be iRows…iRows already has charting capability, and apparently the Google Spreadsheet (GS) does not. Also, GS is supposed to be tabbed, and I don’t think iRows does that yet.

Funny thing, I just got my monthly iRows newsletter (for June) 47 minutes ago. No mention of Google…

Dave

Neil

Security will need to be tight in order for this to work. I would hazard a guess that over 90% of spreadsheets contain sensitive data. Not the type of thing that corporations will want to lose control over. Although I suppose the same could be said for text documents too.

Rick

These new online apps are great. I’m using Yahoo! mail (beta) and it’s a perfect example of the advantages of online versus desktop. It eliminates configuration, syncronization, backup, and it’s much safer.

Google’s spreadsheet is wonderful. It will be great for most usage (95% probably). Centralized and protected. Accessible from any computer by anyone at anytime!

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