I saw the Google Press announcement this morning and immediately signed up. I have been using the spreadsheet in a collaborative mode for a while and did not hesitate too much to spend the $50 per year. It was a small investment for trying out a service. I have been using Google tools for such a long time for free and they are of such high quality, I felt I owed the company some money. I was glad to do my little contribution. After a few months of trial I will bring other people in my tiny organization to use this service.
Here are some reasons why I signed up:
- Their products are reliable and consistently of high quality
- The user interfaces are simple and do not really have a big learning curve
- They have been giving away stuff for a while and I have tried them enough to know they are useful
- 99% up-time, ability to have a small website (with tools to build the sites) is really compelling
- Good functionality now and it can only get better (based on their track record)
- They let you export stuff to Excel and Word and I can always put them in my Microsoft Office, which I own anyway
- I really wanted to explore their API for business integration and see what I can do with it
I don’t consider these products comparable to Microsoft Office Products. They do not have the same power or even the same ease of use of desktop apps. But for 80% of what I do with docs and spreadsheets, these are more than adquate.
I will end it with a few wish-list items:
- They should do desktop versions of the online products and provide capabilities to synchronize with the online versions
- They should provide better links across micro-content in these documents which make them more useful
- It will be nice to have a couple of gadgets that provide these docs embedded in websites
- Finally, my favorite topic – they need to add wikiness to both docs and spreadsheets