Mon 19 Jun 2006
Google's recently announced spreadsheet has the online community talking.
Certainly, many people see this as one of the many ways that Google is trying to become the King of the Online World. Remember recently when we reported Google purchasing a web-based word processing program? They already have calendar and email functions. Add the spreadsheet and now you've got a decent online office system.
Some people think that Google is trying to unsettle Microsoft's hold on office software… which is possible.
Other people worry about privacy: will spreadsheet numbers about your business suddenly become interesting reading to Google executives? That's possible, too.
I'm not an expert on either of these issues, although I think that competitiveness will make both companies' spreadsheets better and I think if privacy is a real concern you will use offline spreadsheets.
What I am interested in is how Google will monetize the spreadsheets. Google may hold the title of King of the Online World but I think they should be given the title of Supreme Ruler of Contextualized Advertising. Google AdWords were a stroke of genius. AdSense are great. Google Local ads within maps are brilliant. Will they be able to effectively advertise applicable ads in the spreadsheets that are meaningful to the users? Some people may not want to see ads when they use spreadsheets. I, on the other hand, as an entrepreneur, am very interested in seeing this develop.