Feeds

Google mixes up letters and numbers

Writely, meet Spreadsheets

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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." ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.