Google spreadsheet in the works

Google spreadsheet in the works

Summary: The Wall Street Journal by way The Guardian is reporting that Google plans to add a speadsheet to its set of applications, that also  include Writely, Google Base, Google Mail. When I asked Dave Girouard, head of Google Enterprise, about a spreadsheet application a few weeks ago, he said, “It’s important…I can’t comment beyond that.

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TOPICS: Google
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The Wall Street Journal by way The Guardian is reporting that Google plans to add a speadsheet to its set of applications, that also  include Writely, Google Base, Google Mail. When I asked Dave Girouard, head of Google Enterprise, about a spreadsheet application a few weeks ago, he said, “It’s important…I can’t comment beyond that."

Om Malik speculates that Google bought iRows, an online spreadsheet. At this time the iRow site and blog are inaccessible--it could be that the universe of Google watchers is pinging those sites into oblivion or it has a serious system outage at precisely the wrong time.

Like Writely, iRows or whatever number cruncher Google presents won't be an Excel killer. It will nip away at the edges, and compel Microsoft to respond with its own Live spreadsheet in the ongoing game of leapfrog. As Girouard told me, "We have no preconceived notion that people will stop using [Microsoft] Office. But for smaller businesses we can contribute some usefulness on the edges and help them be more productive.” 

Here are some of the elusive iRow's capabilities that could attract Google:

    *  Dynamic web functions: stockprice, convert
    * Upload and save Excel,CSV and OpenOffice files
    * Reference cells in other spreadsheets
    * Draw bar/line/pie 2D/3D charts sample
    * Allow multiple people to view or edit the same spreadsheet
    * Automatically saves previous revisions
    * Display a spreadsheet on any web page
    * Generate HTML from spreadsheets
    * Cell merge and un-merge
    * Scroll-lock, hide rows or columns

If iRows is no longer available and won this instance of the online spreadsheet lottery, browser-based spreadsheets Numsum and EditGrid are looking for suitors...and Dan Bricklin's WikiCalc mashes up wikis and speadsheets. Also JotSpot Tracker from wiki maker Jotspot is on the scene.

Update from Elinor Mills:

Google Spreadsheets, which will go live on Tuesday as part of Google Labs, supports the import and export of documents in the .xls format used in Excel and the .csv (common separate values) format, said Jonathan Rochelle, product manager for Google Spreadsheet.

The service provides automatic saving, so once a document is saved for the first time it is saved upon every change, as well as enables easy transfer of data from cell to cell, inserting and deleting of rows and columns and supports multiple sheets or tabs, he said.

Consumers must have a Google account to use the service.

Topic: Google

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2 comments
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  • It makes the market bigger

    This is David from EditGrid - http://www.editgrid.com

    We have been anticipating Google Spreadsheet for long. We will continue pour in all our passion and effort into EditGrid to make it better. More competition make the market bigger and healthier.
    davidlkf
  • Google is competing with OpenOffice and StarOffice

    It is somewhat surprising that after the cozy "feel good" press conference with Sun last year that Google would turn around and compete directly with Sun StarOffice and open source projects like OpenOffice.

    Google Spreadsheets and Writely are focused on exactly the same market segment that would use OpenOffice and other open source projects.

    I don't see Google going up against Microsoft for the enterprise market. Enterprise customers have a whole different set of issues and expectations.

    I wrote a blog on this subject today http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2006/06/google_competin.html
    DonDodge