Another Week….Another Useless product from Google (goes into permanent BETA)

June 8, 2006

That's right folks…let me introduce to you the latest ground breaking innovation from all the Phd's at Google – Google Spreadsheets! And yes you guessed it – it's in Beta (yup just like almost every other product they put out). If you have'nt figured it out yet – this is a browser based spreadsheet application. I am not sure what Google is thinking here..are they really thinking they can go up against Microsoft Excel & Office with this? Or maybe Don Dodge is right and they will only eat into the market-share of the freebie's out there like OpenOffice. Why do i think its useless? more on that later.

Well…when i need a spreadsheet application I need: Features, Responsiveness and ease of use. Sorry but the browser can't compete with the Win32 platform. I see blogger's going nuts about this and touting the fact that you can access your spreadsheet from anywhere. Well that's kinda cool..but you still have to save it locally to access it offline and the fact that I can access it from anywhere doesn't offset the fact that it is tremendously lacking in features. Take Outlook as an example – it has an excellent Web Interface [Exchange 2003 OWA] but if you look at the stats people will use the Win32 fat client whenever possible.

Also in the next few years hopefully my long time dream will come true: storage abstraction. I used to work for bigVAULT – an online storage company and there are many more that are emerging as part of the Web 2.0 wave, see here [via TechCrunch]. So the idea here is that one day I will just save my files to my storage device and it will make sure it goes to my online drive and all other places I want it to be replicated to. Maybe once bandwidth permits I will have only one central storage place – my online drive and it will be completely abstracted to the end user. I am particularly impressed by OmniDrive which allows:

the ability to read/write directly to the file with local applications like Office, on the remote server. This last feature speeds the process of writing to files significantly by skipping the requirement to download the file to the hard drive first

So Storage abstraction will pave the way to all kinds of cool apps. That's my theory. But Scoble on the other hand has a different one, check it out.

So why do I think its useless? When I am talking about useless, I am referring to how this is going to be useful in helping Google bring revenues in. I don't see that part of the picture yet. As of right now the only revenue stream Google has is Search, AdWords and maybe some from Gmail (which I like a lot). How is this app going to get them revenue?

I like google a lot, I use their products. When google gets ready to release a product I am expecting something innovative. Spreadsheets have been around for a long time…nothing innovative there….yet.

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3 Responses to “Another Week….Another Useless product from Google (goes into permanent BETA)”

  1. Greg Says:

    Don’t forget Google Earth.

    They are starting to put ads in there for revenue also.

    Google Earth is cool.

  2. Nikhil Roy Says:

    Greg – I must have overlooked that it has ad’s built in, I didnt see any while creating, saving, editing the spreadsheets. Google earth is cool the last I looked at it, did they add ad’s to it?

  3. Bobby Says:

    Google’s strategy is to build an arsenal of web based applications. Eventually these will come together to spawn even more powerful applications. I’m also not a fan of all the Betas, i mean it looks like my website. But one thing i’ve learned is that if you put a Beta up then you’re more likely to develop the application further. I know that whenever i have an idea for a web based application i immediatly do a Beta and put it up to force myself to work on it.
    I also prefer Yahoo over Google. It’s a very clean and organized site, and every tool in it is well integrated.


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