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Friday, June 09, 2006

What happened to Google's uPod?

Google impressed us with its continuous uPod (Under Promise Over Deliver). But, this time around mmmm... read on.

Requested an invitation and received it in no time. I added a few grey hairs waiting for Google Analytics though.

So, what is my take. Considering the limitations of browser and Internet technology I think they have done a phenomenal job specially with autosave and other AJAX-yness. I am relatively ignorant about other spreadsheets like Zoho, iRows and WikiCalc. And I have my reasons for being ignorant - Why would I put my finance info on somebody else's server knowing that this will be used "against" me to scour and throw ads about consolidating my debts. I can save my grocery list but do I really need a spreadsheet for that? BTW, I did not like the name itself; how about calling it GSheet? (risky considering typos) How about something on the lines of Excel?

Google's spreadsheet is very rudimentary compared to what M$ Office offers and from what I have heard/glimpsed the new Office is even more deadly. But, lets not get into geeky fantasies here. Google Spreadsheet offers very basic features, probably what Excel offered in its infancy. I do not see any threat to M$ yet from Google's spreadsheet. Some features that have been praised like - capability to share, GTalk (IM); well, this and more is already available with M$ Office and much more sophisticated.

Will I use it? Mmmm... I don't think so. Does not suffice my hunger. It is like those social calendars - why would I want to put on social calendar who I am meeting next week? Evite is more than sexy for me. Hello? this goes out to all those Flickr, MySpace, social networking people who are also complaining about Govt. eavesdropping on their phone lines.

How about SMEies? Mmmm... not very convinced why they would use it either. I know of a few SMEies who either do not have broadband in their office or access to Internet is restricted due to *ahem* productivity concerns. (BTW, these businesses are in/around Silicon Valley). Interesting to note these companies had an internal network for file sharing though. Paying $50-150/mo. for Internet will cover the one time cost of getting MS Office, which can be used through the lifetime of the SME. Besides, what if the Internet is down around Q4 financial analysis time when everyone is hitting the server? (Comcast's service was down on me for almost 2 days before a technician came in. My life had come to a stand still.). SMEies would anyways need a desktop version of spreadsheet for their field/sales staff who are on the road with limited or no Internet access.

I will be more convinced of this service when Internet is available for free or available on powerlines (yes, through the power socket on our walls). It is possible and feasibility studies are being done. Rest is beyond the scope of this posting.

IMHO Writely made more sense to me than the spreadsheet (especially this rudimentary). Though I think if Google can bundle this into their Google Appliance some how for SME or large companies that can be killer (I have some other thoughts there but will post later). That in my opinion makes much more sense. For now I believe ThinkFree Office and OpenOffice are better alternatives for spreadsheet users if they do not want to use/pay for M$ Office.

Unless I missed the target audience altogether I think my humble guess is not too far fetched.


Anonymous said...

Hi! Have you seen EditGrid also?

There's a comparison between EditGrid and google spreadsheet here:

You may wish to take a look!