Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Spreadsheet Babble - The Media Loves Google and a Good War

Tech: Sometimes I wonder how a hot topic rises in the zeitgeist. Today, on Google news, and just about everywhere for that matter, is coverage about Google's new spreadsheet. I mean really, a lame spreadsheet that runs on the web is somehow huge news? This is 70s technology executed in a cumbersome and highly sluggish environment. I'll admit, I haven't actually seen it (still waiting for the Beta sign up to go through), and I'm sure the Google folks have executed it better than most if not all, but I know a fair amount about Ajax, browser barf, and the world of large delays and they don't make for a great combo in an app like a spreadsheet. Web email works, amongst other reasons, because people are accessing it from many machines, and the portability really matters. But spreadsheets? Who is standing at the Hong Kong airport Internet Cafe and crunching some last minute numbers? An executive with a portable drive who's laptop died? This just seems like a lot of trumped up media hype for something Google is just throwing out there and trying on for size. I can see some niche usage arising, but a direct threat to Excel?

The media seems obsessed w/ creating a new Google verse Microsoft CNN-inspired war zone. Yahoo seems a much more natural enemy of Google, why not cover that? But alas, its less newsworthy. Until Google is a real platform threat, and the two are duking it out over the desktop, which I'm sorry, but a cute little tool bar is not, I'm not buying into this mother-of-all-tech-wars thing. Serious competitors though? Certainly.

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