For Google fans, some exciting news is always on the cards. This time it is their web based spreadsheet application. (You may recall that Google acquired Writely, a web based word processor sometime back). While not claiming to be a full-fledged spreadsheet application like the MS Excel, this simple application can help one in creating home budget, IT returns etc., and then probably share it with family members later through web.
One interesting aspect of these web based applications is the revenue that Google can earn by selling boxes. Today, they have "search boxes" which are sold to corporates for deploying as enterprise-wide search engines. In the same fashion, Google can chose to sell "Office Suite Boxes", which when deployed, will allow employees to log-in 'to and create spreadsheets, documents etc., and share with others. It may turn out pretty cheap and cost-effective for many small companies. (No more "Oops. Forgot the attachment!" mails!!). I can see where all this is leading to.
On the internet, such free applications like Calendar, Spreadsheet etc., are good for users who do not want to buy an Office Suite (Don't forget the vastly improved OpenOffice 2.0 suite) – what is a big cause of concern is the amount of personal information one stores on Google's database! Google now knows what you search, how is your day like, who and what you mail and in the future, what documents you create! This may have vast implications once new applications are made available, creating a virtual monopoly in the Web 2.0 arena.
A sneak preview of the Google Spreadsheet is available on the Google website here.