Organizing information is about to get easier. It has been more than 20 years since the spreadsheet application Lotus 1-2-3 became the first true killer application for the personal computer allowing us to organize and analyze information faster and in more useful ways. By the time I was in university in the early 90s we were using Microsoft Excel for most of our analytics and charting and while it remains the leader, it is expensive, requires an installation that is tied to your PC, and most folks don’t use or need the majority of features.
Today’s sneak peak release of a free online spreadsheet from Google is going to change all of that. Look for Google to eventually be providing a Microsoft Office replacement which requires no software installation, is securely accessible from anywhere, and handles 100% of the needs of 98% of the world. Here is what we may be using for word processing.
I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and other advanced stats required for most of my biology papers, but then again Excel couldn’t even handle all of my requirements there, which is why we used Systat and SPSS. But that’s another story. If Microsoft Excel is going to survive, they had better be listening close to these smart folks!