Microsoft: Google Spreadsheets Is So 10 Years Ago

Google today added Spreadsheets to its suite of Web-based applications available for try-out in its Google Labs.

Industry leader Microsoft gave the development little reaction.

Google Spreadsheet features include automatic saving, keyboard shortcuts and the support of over 200 formula functions.

Product manager Jonathan Rochelle told the “biggest wow feature” is the ability for multiple users to simultaneously edit spreadsheets and chat.

But Rochelle said Google Spreadsheets is far from complete. He said it is limited in terms of capability at this point but the company will expects to expand its feature set.

For now, he expects Google Spreadsheets to be useful to users of traditional desktop spreadsheet applications, such as Microsoft Excel, who want to upload and share their offline spreadsheets.

“The way people will start on Google Spreadsheets is by importing a spreadsheet from XLS or CSV format,” Rochelle said, adding that Google is looking to help Excel users share more effectively.

Thanks, but no thanks, Microsoft spokesperson Heather Gillissen told She doesn’t think Excel users need the help.

“Google’s new spreadsheet product is just an imitation of functionality that many other vendors already deliver,” she said.

“The innovations we’re delivering in Excel in terms of new usability, new visual user interface advancements, support for collaboration and business intelligence with things like Excel Services are so far beyond [Google Spreadsheets] that it’s like watching a time machine from 10 years ago.”

Gillissen’s reaction may simply reflect increasing competition between Microsoft and Google .

Google Spreadsheets is just another way Google is expanding beyond pure search and into the creation of Web-based applications, such as Google Notebook and Google Calender.

And in March, Google bought Writely, a Web-based application designed to share Microsoft Word files.

This seems to many to be Google’s attempts to break into the market share of Microsoft’s dominant Office products.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, with products such as AdCenter, continues to work on its search and advertising business, which has been Google’s domain.

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