Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office: there we go again

ReadWriteWeb wrote an article yesterday about why Google Docs is a threat for Microsoft Office. Someone called Karim posted a long rebuttal which is its own post now. Makes for some interesting reading. The discussion in the comments breaks into the typical anti MS or anti Google camp.

In my own experience, Google docs is useful for different reasons than MS Office. Yesterday, I created a Google spreadsheet to track a weekly column on Slide Design that we are planning for the SlideShare blog. I want to share the information with the rest of my team, the spreadsheet is not heavy (it has very little data), I don’t need any fancy formatting. Google Docs was perfect for that.

The day before I spent almost the entire day in Excel crunching SlideShare numbers, creating charts. There is no way I could use Google Docs for that. Its a lot of data, lot of charts and a lot of manipulation of data. Any type of network latency will be annoying. Also, I use many advanced Excel features that I am sure Google Docs does not support.

Google Docs is useful, but I don’t see it taking over MS Office anytime soon.

7 thoughts on “Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office: there we go again

  1. To me, Google is trying to act like Microsoft just as much as Microsoft is trying to act like Google. I don’t know about cloud computing just yet. I’m too worried about security, privacy, packet loss, and data mining to embrace it fully just yet.

  2. I expect Google Docs will never “catch up” with Microsoft Office – not because it can’t, but because document editing on the web will stop looking to desktop software as the target and find it can generate more value by pursuing an entirely different experience that leverages the web, sharing, and collaboration.

    Google Docs’ use of HTML reminds me of “Reveal Codes” in WordPerfect that made formatting so transparent, unlike Microsoft Word.

  3. I would rather use Microsoft Office. Why? Well, why fix something that isn;t broke? I’m comfortable with MS Office, the new Office 2007 creates smaller files so emailing & collaboration is easy, and Spreadsheets often start simple and become complex over time and MS Office is much more suited to that than Google Docs. And finally Google IMHO is not competing with MS Office as it is rather basic in functionality. It is just a way for Google to get users to do more stuff ONLINE so that there are more places for Google to put advertisements.

  4. dunno if Google Docs will take over M$ Office or not, but here are some points..

    It works on all Operating Systems… just need a browser

    Price … Not everyone works in some big company who pays for all the software. We run a startup and for our first *real* employee, we bullied him to use linux with open office + G Docs . If I did have truckloads of money, I would still not pay Microsoft.

    For someone like me, the only advanced feature of excel that I use is SUM . Last week i did our last years accounts on Gdocs no issues (other than the negative figures :p ).

    Also we organized http://www.barcampbangkok.org/ in January, most of the organizing portion was done over google docs…

  5. I continually find the collaborative effects of Google Docs super useful for group projects…

    MS Office for most stuff, Google Docs for sharing information in table format or writing a group paper (before doing heavy formatting)

    I like MS Office ’07 minimal onscreen menus when you hide the ribbon–seems like something Google could implement.

  6. :) I think Rashmi was being politically correct when she says that both apps have different use .I would agree with some of the folks above , we have an app which is WORD, works great and why should I use Google. I think it will be hard convincing me to switch to Google, don’t see any value.
    As for Google trying to be a MS, yeah perhaps they are and maybe even more , as they have enormous data on users and God only knows what Privacy is doing to take notice of it …who knows how this data is used, and if we will even get to know if there is a data leak at google…who willw e catch :)

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