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Google is today set to launch a Web-based spreadsheet program that will allow people to view and simultaneously edit data while conducting 'in-document' chat, a Google product manager said on Monday.
The launch of Google Spreadsheets puts the search engine in even more heated competition with Microsoft, whose desktop-based Excel spreadsheet program is a standard office tool.
Google Spreadsheet story [news.cnet.co.uk]
I submitted my request for invitation, and have not heard back yet - so I don't have any specific comments as of yet.
The functionality of it is more limited than MS Excel (as expected) but it does have most of the features I use in a daily basis. It does the normal functions like ADD, SUBTRACT, AVERAGE, as well as financial and statistical functions found in Excel.
Some notable differences between Excel and GS is that there is no help in GS. I tried doing a simple PMT calculation and without a little guide as to which number to put in which order, I had to do a little trial and error. For the record it is (interest/12, # of pmts, amount, final balance)
Things that it lacks in comparison - Goal Seek, Pivot Tables, Text to Columns, Conditional formatting - well, I guess I wont be getting rid of Excel just yet. I do think it is a good start, and it will probably meet the needs of most light users. Heavy users are probably switching from Excel to SPSS anyway (my wife uses it, but I can't figure it out)
A major omission is the lack of "drag and fill" functionality. It is not possible to grab a corner of a cell and drag the formula down, or fill a column of numbers, like you can with Excel.
One feature that will be nice for my use, is that I will be able to share documents with my partners in other cities easily, and we will always be on the same version. Currenlty we waste too much time making sure we have the same version, and this will be a help. Besides, I will be able to show them data and not let them change it :)
Iím on the move more and more and plan to do work while on a three month holiday. The combination of portable apps and web apps is very useful for these kind of scenarios
It is pretty sweet, but being tied to the web, it has some serious limitations. I can't see that Googles will be any different. However, I do forsee Google putting out a desktop companion program that will drive the online version. eg: basically only the data will live on G's servers.
hey - sounds like microsoft share point, eh? lol
I believe there is a tremendous market for online productivity tools. As we move to a wireless world, I'd rather carry around a small Internet-accessible device (e.g., origami-style, oversize PDA) than a laptop to do spreadsheets, presentation, word processing, etc. The day of the "network computer" may be coming soon (can hear Ellison laughing now!).
Sorry Google, my usage has been forbidden... Not that I couldn't have just emailed the Excel spreadsheet to someone and not that I really love working on spreadsheets anyhow. c'mon.
Just now, however, while logged into my gmail account, I pointed my browser to [spreadsheets.google.com...] (on the off-chance there'd be a landing page there), and surprise! I jumped straight into the spreadsheet program! Sweet.
As for using this for financial uses, it would get limited play here as well, after our horrible experiences with a certain all in one ASP that we paid for, in more than one way, we could never trust our core data to a free service no matter which billion dollar gorilla of the day has it available.
Observations so far:
1. Menus do not close when you click the menu-heading
2. Have to disable FlashBlock in firefox (the flash elements are hidden so no 'play' button available)
3. Works with Adblock on in firefox (great - adsense's interface is very annoying in that respect)
4. File>Open selects all the elements on the page and fails to open any dialog.
5. Open a Spreadsheet direct link will not load a 1.4Mb .csv file. ***First serious failure as I cannot manipulate the affiliate feed I'm dealing with this morning***
6. Will not load 1.6Mb .xls file (same file as the 1.4Mb CSV but converted to .xls). Both cases the error is 'Document contains no data'.
7. Tried to copy-paste from OO Calc into Google Spreadsheet (1885 rows x 10 columns). Browser unresponsive for almost 5 minutes, following which no cells had been filled. Small red error message (bottom right) reads "Ooops, you can't paste that much text from the clipboard".
I've given up on Google Spreadsheets for now. It can't handle the first task I tried, loading a document.
I wonder if Google Spreadsheets will have a direct upload button to Google Base?
This is an online and collaborative spreadsheet tool. Nothing more.
It works for several purposes - but it doesn't need to be better than any other product that works offline-only. It's different. It's for different purposes. This needs only to work, first, and to allow you to share your data with others. And its very nice that it allows you to save spreadsheet-style data online (for the first time ever in a mass-accepted format).
Such tools aren't meant to change lives, and won't, but they will serve the purposes for which you may deem them suitable - or not - period.