I had a play with the Google Docs and Spreadsheets release this morning after reading about it on TechCrunch – it all looks very promising. It integrates the previously separate Writely and Spreadsheet product silos into a single control panel and admin area (the previous sites for those products redirect to docs.google).
After logging onto the site using my Google account, I was able to very easily begin a new document, making use of the WISIWIG editing tools available.
A weakness at this stage, as pointed out in the TechCrunch article, is the fact that at this stage you can’t embed a spreadsheet within the word processing document – but I’m sure that will be addressed.
While there may be concerns about using an online word processing and spreadsheeting system because of the fact that potentially sensitive documents are stored on Google???s servers, I think there’s a big future in this sort of initiative. There’s been speculation for a long time about the use of web-based applications being the way of the future – and perhaps now we’re seeing the beginninng of what it will look like.