The WSJ is tipping that Google is set to release on Tuesday a web-based spreadsheet app named, wait for it, Google Spreadsheet. Ooooooh! A name only an engineer could love.
Anyway, alongside Writely does anyone still think that Google has no interest in hitting Microsoft where its profits live? (And does anyone still believe a word from Eric Schmidt?) I still think straight-up competition is a mistake — Writely and Google Spreadsheet are unlikely to be orthodox competitors for Word and Excel — but it will be interesting to see what ideas Google has for the stale category.
[Update^2] You know, this sort of thing from Google is beginning to bug me. Google reminds of an over-eager puppy: Just happily waving its tail around, and then sh***-ing in markets. It did it with Google Analytics, and now it’s doing it with Google Spreadsheet. Where Microsoft used to ruin markets by taking all the revenues to itself, Google takes a nuclear winter approach wherein it ruins markets by freezing them and then cutting revenues to zero.
But how seriously are real users supposed to take this stuff? Google could cut off any of these playtoys anytime, doubly so if they ever whiff on a quarter and investors force them to focus on things that generate revenue. Damned if you commit to one of these services, and damned if you don’t.