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Google Offers Free Spreadsheet Software

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In a not so subtle story last year (I don’t really do subtle) I suggested Google may be interested in taking on Microsoft’s Office productivity suite. Google denied it at the time and continues to do so, but now take a look at this…



Having tied up its deal with Sun last year to give users’ free access to StarOffice the search engine guru has now unveiled its own spreadsheets software. Carrying the beautifully literal title of ‘Google Spreadsheets’, the online tool allows spreadsheets to be created from scratch and includes basic functionality such as changing the number format, sorting columns and adding formulas.

It also enables existing CSV and (notably) XLS formatted documents to be uploaded for editing or simultaneous collaboration where multiple users can make changes in real time. In fact, an instant messaging chat area is even provided. In addition, up to 50 spreadsheets can be uploaded and stored on the new programme meaning work may be accessed from any computer with Internet access across the globe.

Currently, Google Spreadsheets has just entered beta testing and if you want to be involved then sign up details can be found here and it works on a first-come, first-served basis. In an attempt to play down the obvious threat this software poses to Microsoft’s expensive Excel programme Google has describe Spreadsheets as ‘complimentary’ to Gates’ established series.

I tend to agree, much in the same way that I see Google Search as 'complimentary' to MSN Search, Google Toolbar being ‘complimentary’ to the MSN Toolbar, Picasa being ‘complimentary’ to Office Picture Manager, Blogger being ‘complimentary’ to MSN Spaces and Google Desktop being clearly ‘complimentary’ to Windows Desktop Search...

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Google Spreadsheets

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