google office approaches

so, it’s finally here, google’s first strident step in the direction of microsoft’s coveted office suite.

and rather than go for microsoft word, the firm favourite in the office pack, google has made more of a side swipe – opting to take on the accountants’ favourite – microsoft excel, the spreadsheet package. perhaps this is more logical, given google’s analytical bent. at the moment the website, spreadsheet.google.com just offers some teaser screens but you can request an invite.

what’s the main selling point? the big thing is that being an online service, the document can exist in a collaborative space – if i create a spreadsheet of my monthly expenses, you can go in and add yours. i can go back and see what you’ve done and we can talk about it through Google’s chat service. it could also integrate nicely with the Adwords interface and help advertisers compare campaigns.

oh, there is one other USP – whilst a boxed version of excel sells in the states for around $200, Google Spreadsheet is free. once again you feel that google is redefining traditional business models and pursuing indirect revenue streams.

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