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Google Takes on Desktop Application Market with Web-Based Spreadsheets
[June 07, 2006]

Google Takes on Desktop Application Market with Web-Based Spreadsheets

TMCnet Associate Editor
Rumors have been flying for years now that Google may, at some point soon, decide to create its own Web browser. While that could have the potential to shake things up, there’s no definitive sign it actually will occur in the near future. But, there are definitely signs that Google (News - Alert) intends to take on Microsoft’s domination of the desktop application market.

Case in point: Google’s launch this week of a Web-based spreadsheet program, currently in Beta and available for the time being only to Google account holders, or on a first-come-first-serve basis by invitation. 

Yes, Google is taking on Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Excel. That probably means it’s just a matter of time before the search engine giant starts putting its fingers in other desktop application pies, such as word processing.
(Actually, Google already has its fingers in other pies—including photo management software, Web-based notebook, video player, and desktop search application with add-on “gadgets.”)
From Microsoft’s (News - Alert) perspective, this is bad news. As Rich Tehrani put it in a June 6 blog entry, “What on Earth do you do when the most popular search engine in the world starts to give away the software you charge for?”
Tehrani suggests that one way to counter the attack would be for Microsoft to develop “a better web-based solution that interfaces more seamlessly with other Windows applications.”
He added that, while Microsoft may be wringing its hands over the latest news from Google Labs, consumers will be the winners in the ensuing battle for the hearts and minds of desktop application users.
Microsoft has had an Office monopoly for many years and it is time for them to have to work really hard to keep their customers,” Tehrani noted. “It is time to get us excited about new technologies that make us more productive.”

Indeed. Bring it on!
Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page.

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