According to some pundits these web applications are the beginning of the end for Microsoft. They argue that people will use these applications for free in difference to Excel and Word. Heady stuff indeed. But, how much truth is there in that? I thought I would try out the offerings and see if I would use them instead of Excel or Word.
Google Spreadsheet ( http://spreadsheets.google.com )
Google spreadsheet is still pretty basic. It will do all the basic things like formatting, coloring backgrounds and sorting. It doesn't do auto fills which is a major to me. No charting that I could see either. It is pretty snappy.
Rating - 45%
Zoho Sheet ( http://zohosheet.com )
Crashed Firefox (188.8.131.52) twice so didn't evaluate.
iRows ( http://irows.com )
The UI of iRows is very nice. It took a while to load, but once it did you couldn't really tell you were using a Web page. It does everything that google spreadsheet above does, plus has charts built in. You can also drag and drop copy selected cells. Again, I couldn't find a fill function.
Rating - 55%
EditGrid ( http://editgrid.com )
Again the UI of Editgrid is very good. It loaded quickly and was easy to use. EditGrid has the standard features you would expect except charting. The major plus for Editgrid is that it DOES do auto fill. Type Jan pull down 12 columns and it fills in the rest of the months. Big tick for that.
Rating - 60%
So would I use any of these online challengers to Excels crown? Well no. Not for anything other than very basic stuff. Maybe I would if I wanted to share and allow others to update my sheet. That is the only reason I can think of at the moment. Given time however, I can see online version becoming more and more useful. So I guess the final answer is, watch this space.....