On June 6th, Google plans to make available on its website a test version of a web-based spreadsheet program called “Google Spreadsheets.”Â The new product represents yet another attack on Bill Gates’ and his stranglehold over the desktop software market.
As are most new Google releases, Spreadsheets will still be in an experimental, or beta, stage. Google hopes thatÂ Spreadsheets will make it easy and simple to edit and share lists and numeric information online.Â
It will be able to read and create files in the Microsoft Excel format, but will not yet be compatible with many of their more advanced features.
The new service will be able to handle several hundred formulas used to manipulate data in Excel, but it will not handle more complex functions like Excel macros, said Jonathan Rochelle, the Google Spreadsheets product manager.
Spreadsheet users will be able to upload both Excel and C.S.V. file formats.Â Once they are on Google’s Servers, users can simultaneously edit the document, and chat about it on Google Talk.
The service provides automatic saving, so once a document is saved for the first time it is saved upon every change, as well as enables easy transfer of data from cell to cell, inserting and deleting of rows and columns and supports multiple sheets or tabs, said Rochelle.
Spreadsheets is a product of Google Labs, and Google is informing users that initially it will be available only to a small number of users.Â In other words, if you want to get a crack at it, be up early and cross your fingers.Â The rest of us might not get to view it for days.