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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Google Spreadsheets

Last week Google announced their new Spreadsheets offering. Take a look: you'll find that the program has a nice, crisp responsiveness unusual in a web app, showing off the Google development team's expertise with Ajax. But the application provides only the simplest subset of Excel capability. And it might take a while to get your account. Google is making people sign up and get on a waiting list - but my wait was less than a day.

What's the response been? Some bloggers have given it the usual approving murmur that we've gotten used to hearing about Google efforts; on the other hand there has been more than a little disappointment: TechCrunch's Michael Arrington pretty much accused the writers of admiring reviews of having drunk the Google Kool-Aid.
Google-love is getting out of hand. In fact, Google is getting out of hand. After I wrote about the launch of Google Spreadsheets this morning, one commenter said “Its very nice and sleek. Will be very useful for keeping track of money etc”, as if this was the first spreadsheet he’d ever seen. Some of the other comments were also overly effusive. Thankfully, another commenter noted that, in fact, the product isn’t exactly new: “spreadsheets have been around about as long as computers”. I agree - while Google released a very nice Ajax spreadsheet today, they didn’t exactly change the world.
Is this new product going to be useful to non-profits? It might provide a better way to share access to a simple budget spreadsheet you're developing than emailing it around and trying to collate the changes. But its not going to rock your world.
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Comments on "Google Spreadsheets"


Blogger cliff said ... (June 16, 2006 at 3:37 AM) : 

Besides Google spreadsheets and wikicalc, there is EditGrid which provide similar functions. It incorporated real-time-update which distinguishes itself from the others.

You may visit which show you a detail comparsion between EditGrid and Google Spreadsheets.


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