If you are one of those people who discounted all those rumors about Google developing an online version of Office to compete with Microsoft, you might want to check out Google Spreadsheet.
They just thrown down the gauntlet, and all bets are off. Google and Microsoft are officially at war now, and you should expect to see some really devious anti-Google shit to be added to Vista. IE7 will probably be “adjusted” to break Google spreadsheets with every security patch.
This will not affect Microsoft’s sales in the business sector where they make most money. Excel and word will still be needed to run the macro-heavy super-templates and all that gay stuff. But I can see how “Google Office” could really cut into retails sales.
Why would you buy MS Office for your home computer if you could easily open and edit word and excel documents via Google?
And what if Google integrates their office suite with the Google Desktop, and Google Toolbar, Gmail and Gcal? They could really make it work. Just automate uploading of the files to your personal user space. Create a widget that will automatically upload a file and then open your browser for editing. Then associate all office files with that app, and you have yourself an Office killer. Bundle that with Google Desktop and you automatically get it preinstalled on all the new Dells (yeah, all new Dells come with Google Desktop nowadays).
It’s been a really long time since a company was in a position to actually threaten Microsoft’s monopoly in the Office Suite market. Google may actually be able to win over the low end, home desktop users who just need to be able to type up their homeworks, or print out their resume every once in a while.
Of course there are the privacy issues. Do we really want Google to read our spreadsheets and letters? But that’s a whole different discussion.
What I really want to know this: how much chair chucking was happening today in Redmond?