I got my invite today to Google’s new foray into the “No, we’re not aiming to compete with Microsoft” arena, Google’s Excel replacement aka Google Spreadsheets.
After messing around with it, i can safely say that all those Web 2.0 Spreadsheet startups (EditGrid, NumSum for starters) should be quaking in their boots a bit, the same way every single competitor in a field has done when Google makes an announcement; think Gmail, Gcal, Analytics, Notebook, Page Creator, SMS, Groups, insert next Google Product here (my money’s on a microsoft word replacement after Google’s purchase of Writely).
Anyway, Google Spreadsheets is very slick and works much like you would expect a spreadsheet to work with the full gamut of formulas, multiple cell selection, formatting, and so forth. Where it begins to really shine is in the collaborative realm with full online sharing with other users, export to csv/cls of course, but also significantly cleaner html export than microsoft (which is a joy). There is also a full import feature so you can browse your desktop for a csv file and bring it into Spreadsheets, but you could also bring in an xls doc and Spreadsheets parses and import the formulas but not the styles. Now that’s really slick. I’ve tried it out on some complicated single sheet xls docs and it worked like a champ.
I have to say that if my need for an online collaborative spreadsheet arises, i would most definitely recommend Google Spreadsheets, except if I were working with top-secret secures data like my or my companys’ finances 🙂
And the Google Behemoth marches on…