Gotta give it to Google…

October 18, 2006

No – this isn’t a post about gooTube (Google + youTube) , it’s about the new solar panel installation that Google is about to put up on their Mountain View campus. According to the San Jose Mercury News they are going to cover their rooftops with 9200solar panels which should generate 1.6 megawatts! That is enough to SELF power 30% of the Mountain View campus or 1,000 average California homes!

Google’s installation will be the largest in the valley toppling over current front runner Microsoft. Check out the PressPass release here.

Big up to all these companies that are moving forward with self-power initiatives.

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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.