Feeds

Google mixes up letters and numbers

Writely, meet Spreadsheets

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google has combined its online word processing and spreadsheet applications through a common interface, single sign-in and data repository.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets, launched today in beta mode, has been devised to make Google's personal productivity software simpler to use. The suite also brings some much-needed order to the burgeoning Google catalogue.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets unifies Google's Writely online word suite, purchased in March, and Google Spreadsheets, released by Google Labs in June.

The applications share a common, tabbed-based interface - meaning an end to the Writely look and feel. Users have the ability to make edits in realtime with others, while also specifying who is allowed to view documents. There's a joint list for all users' documents and spreadsheets and one help center. As before, users can save and export as Microsoft- and non-Microsoft file formats.

The launch appears to contribute to something called a "features, not products" initiative. The goal is to simplify Google's collection of services, and will apparently see Google's calendar added to spreadsheet and word processing.

So far, at least, Google Calendar is offered through Google Apps for your Domain, launched in August and also featuring Gmail, Google Talk and Google Calendar, Google Page Creator, web site admin and 2Gb of storage. For now, Google Apps for your Domain and Google Docs & Spreadsheets are separate.

World+dog has speculated over Google's desktop productivity app plans: is it lining up a challenge to Microsoft's $12bn Office business. Microsoft's reaction to Google has been - big surprise - scathing: Tom Rizzo, the director for Office SharePoint Server, reportedly slammed Google Apps for your Domain as "Frankenstein software" because the elements are less well integrated than Microsoft's productivity applications, server and portal software.

Astute observers, though, will have recognized battling Microsoft in its sweet spot holds little appeal for Google - why go where Corel and Novell failed?

Instead, the goal is to compete with Microsoft as the company leaves its comfort zone, on the desktop, and tries to find its feet in the online jungle, where Google exists. Google's target is OfficeLive, a rather poor and confused set of offerings from Microsoft, covering email and website hosting, that seems to target small businesses.

Dave Girouard, head of Google's enterprise unit, told Reuters in August as Google launched Apps for your Domain: "The Google Apps platform is not designed to replace Microsoft's core software... we are not really out there to eliminate any applications. We are looking to introduce new ways to solve problems people have been having for years." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.