Google Takes Aim at Excel – New York Times

Google isn’t perfect, and I hate the thought of replacing one monopoly with another, but if it has to happen, I’d rather the monopoly who actually cares about, y’know, usability be the one to win. A glance at the market share of the average Microsoft offering shows that far too many people are willing to blindly embrace mediocrity. Which makes computing life doubly hard for those with standards as strict as mine.

Stepping up its attack on Microsoft’s core business, Google plans to make available on Tuesday a test version of a Web-based spreadsheet program that is intended to make it simple to edit and share lists and data online.

The company said that the free program, called Google Spreadsheets, would be able to read and create files in the format used by Excel, the Microsoft spreadsheet software that is installed on millions of personal computers.

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