Just getting my day started, and in doing so noticed a new “Spreadsheets” link on the top left hand side “Menu Bar” contained inside the Gmail interface. Out of curiosity I clicked and found what seems to be a pretty slick little personal spreadsheet tool,
I have a tendency to discredit folks who make attempt at building hosted applications intended for use within web browsers, and this hasn’t changed. But when it comes to Google, I have to keep reminding myself that,
a) Google’s got *BIG TIME* cash.
b) Google’s got *BIG TIME* bandwidth
c) Google’s got Adam Bosworth, Peter Norvig, Guido von Rossum and a list of folks just like these same mentioned folks that runs for *MILES*.
I still adamantly insist that browser-based applications will never be enabled to offer a reasonable user experience for anything other than lightweight document editing, and even further, believe that these same companies need to find a way to allow the ability to use this same software without the need for an Internet connection (using a local (users machine) server instance).
However, when you have folks like the above on your side, and in particular Adam Bosworth (who, among other things was the brain power behind the development of IE4, and Microsoft Access back when Access took the world by storm due to is (at the time) revolutionary new approach that enabled the “little guy” to develop powerful database applications quickly and efficiently, and could redistribute these same apps with a royalty free runtime. Not to discredit or suggest that any of these other mentioned folks don’t have similar resumes, or that their accomplishments are any less significant. But in particular to the Spreadsheet application, when you have the level of experience with Browser development and consumer level DB development (even though a spreadsheet is not technically a DB, the similarities should be fairly obvious) in which AB has (that said, who knows if AB has even touched the code base, or been involved with this project in *ANY WAY*), you have to at very least provide room for the fact that Google has someone on their side who just happens to know a thing or two about developing applications that (quite literally) take over the consumer market, to never look back again.
Thats something pretty significant when you think about it.
Here’s a snippet and link to the Spreadsheets “Sneak Peek”,
Create basic spreadsheets from scratch.
You can start from scratch and do all the basics, including changing the number format, sorting by columns, and adding formulas.
Upload your spreadsheet files.
Upload spreadsheets or worksheets from CSV or XLS format - all your formulas and formatting will come across intact.
Familiar desktop feel makes editing a breeze.
Just click the toolbar buttons to bold, underline, change the font, change the cell background color and more.
If nothing else, I’d say interesting times are ahead, and at very least, this should be a lot of fun to watch things unfold in this space. :)
Enjoy your morning! :D
 That said, Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Amazon, Yahoo, and LOTS of other companies do too… and to be fair, the list of of some of the bigger companies on this mentioned list runs for several hundred miles.)