Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Google's Small Announcement
Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) $1.65 Billion acquisition of YouTube certainly doesn't rate as a small announcement, but the evolution and merging of Writely and Google Spreadsheets into Google Docs and Spreadsheets does qualify. (See left hand screen shot above, and click on the image for higher resolution viewing.)
As a beta tester of both of the separate products (or are they services?), I noticed the change last night, but today, Oct 11th, is the official launch, timed with the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco.
Neither product matches the scope of Microsoft's Word and Excel, but that's kind of the point. I found that for simple documents and spreadsheets they're pretty nice, and of course having your files stored remotely means they're accessible from whatever computer you find yourself using. The collaborative features mean work teams can have access to and modify files, and the link to Gmail (my email client of choice) is just one more little nicety -- though notice on the right-hand screen shot they still have the label "spreadsheets" that links to the combined site.
One loss in all this? Looks like the Writely name is gone -- which I liked.