“Gentlemen, start your engines”

As if we didn’t know this was coming:

Google Plans to Release
Spreadsheet Application

By KEVIN J. DELANEY
June 5, 2006 8:03 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. plans Tuesday to release a Web-based spreadsheet application, in a further foray into Microsoft Corp.’s traditional turf.

Google Spreadsheets follows Google’s March purchase of
a company offering Web- based word processor Writely. The two free
Web-based Google services overlap with Microsoft’s core Excel
spreadsheet and Word word processing software. Google’s offerings
highlight a nascent challenge to such traditional software applications
by a range of Web-based services.

Now read on as Google pretends this is no big deal:

Google played down any rivalry with Microsoft Excel. “I see them as
complementary,” said Jonathan Rochelle, product manager for Google
Spreadsheets. “I know a lot of users will use both.”

And watch with amazement as Microsoft whistles past the graveyard:

Microsoft General Manager Alan Yates said that the new Google offering
is one of a field of similar products competitive with Microsoft’s
Office and Works productivity applications. “There’s nothing new here
really,” Mr.Yates said. “Microsoft Office is the clear leader in what’s
always been a really competitive space.” (emphasis mine)

No doubt as competitive as Germany and Costa Rica in the World Cup. 😉

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