January 7, 2010

Testing Google Apps

For a long time I've been interested in Google apps, I work on three computers two of them have two different operating systems, which makes Google apps a perfect solution for me. Typing is quite straight forward so I decided to try out Google's spreadsheet. Nothing better then checking the change in percentage of the different operating systems, I took the raw data form W3Schools site and started working I summed up the percentage for each operating system each month between March 2003 to November 2009, I divided it in to three groups, Windows, Mac O.S and Linux. It wasn't a problem  with Mac and Linux, but in Windows there were different versions each month so I just summed them up, for example in March 2003 Windows consists out of Win XP, Win 2000, Win 98, Win NT and Win 95, in November 2009 Windows consists out of Win 7, Vista, Win 2003, Win XP and Win 2000. And here are the results (reading from right to left):

  No big discovers Windows still controls the market with 88.5% after it comes Mac O.S. with 6.7% and finishing with Linux with 4.3%. Windows started with 93.2% and is going down, it had a steep and short climb 2.5 years ago but since then Windows is losing it's share in the o.s market, the fastest climbing o.s is Mac, from 1.8% to 6.7% in six years. Linux is also climbing but in a slower rate it started from 2.2%. As a Ubuntu fan this is promising, but thats for another time.
As for Google apps, or more specific Google's spreadsheet, I tested it in 4 parameters, speed, options ,user interface and working offline:
  1. Speed - not bad, I accepted it to be much slower, since we are talking about a web app, they tend to be slower and some time they get jammed , for example when I pressed ctrl+s it save the worksheet  immediately it felt as I was in a desktop app. The menus open the second I pushed the mouse's button, I was quite impressed.
  2. Options - It's not Microsoft's Office Excel, it's not even Open Office's Spreadsheet, it's poor, simple things like adding a trend line do not exist, I couldn't change the direction of the horizontal axis, you can't copy a value of a cell with a formula in it, you have to copy the formula. This are just a part of the problems I encountered while using Google Spreadsheet.
  3. User Interface - Well it's not that different from Microsoft's Office or Open Office, it's the basic universal model of office apps, nothing new here.
  4. Working Off line - As appose to other office web apps like Zoho, Google apps can work off line which make ideal for users that work on different computers or different o.s., the only problem I had was opening a new document, when working off line I could only work on documents that were already save before.   
For conclusion, Google is working and working very hard to match it's main adversary, Microsoft, It's not only in the field of office apps but part of a bigger battle. Where will we work in the future, on a desktop and with desktops apps or on the web with it's apps, as you can see Microsoft's conception still controls the market (the last graph), but no one can tell what the future holds.    


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