Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google now does spreadsheets

Looks like Google is continuing its direction of making "office" type applications available on the web with the launch of Google Spreadsheets. Looks like it can read Excel spreadsheets.

The only advantages I can see that Excels has are:

  • Tight integration with Windows, Office and more recently .NET. GoogleSpreads could probably just add hooks to call out to web services to achieve the same thing.
  • Uses the CPU of your workstation to do calculations instead of having to share a remote server. Get a powerful enough server (or grid of servers)...

In finance the only area I've seen Excel excel (pun intended) over, say, the OpenOffice equivalent is that it is more robust doing quants calculations. I hope Google intends to push GoogleSpreads to similiar limits.


Xin Zhao said...

If the google could provide us the spreadsheet as a GWT component. It will be much helpful.

And for the openoffice, is there a bank really using it now?

Robert Maldon said...

I've heard discussions at some large investment banks around using OpenOffice, particularly those already deploying open source as a way to reduce costs (e.g. Linux replacing the more expensive Solaris), but haven't seen any bank using it yet. The main reason for this is that banks license Microsoft Windows and Office per employee - i.e. one employee can, in theory, run as many versions of Windows/Office as they want - so the only way to reduce these license costs is to get rid of employees :)