Google is getting so far outside its comfort zone, it risks tarnishing its brand by launching a crappy product because it reached too far. For example, have you tried using Writely (Google’s online word processor)? It’s a piece of junk. We’ve tried using it in-house to collaborate on documents and it never correctly saves and notes edits made.
I see two reasons for launching Google Spreadsheets, one of them legitimate.
1. Stickiness – The more products you use, that are owned by Google, the more likely you are to use Google’s search engine. Verdict: Legit.
2. Microsoft – Google is determined to “get up in Microsoft’s grill” and is launching products simply to take shots at the software company. Verdict: You can’t “out-Microsoft” Microsoft.
Lastly, how boring is the name “Google Spreadsheets”? It’s so unlike Google. It’s clear they are trying to position themselves as a serious alternative to Excel, otherwise they would have gone with some cool name like GSheets or something.
Admittedly, I’ve not yet used Google Spreadsheets. When I do, I’ll let you know what I think. In the meantime, Google continues to puzzle me. Just when you think they’ve re-aligned their focus to “core search”, they go and throw another curve-ball product launch.