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Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Google combines Writely and Spreadsheets

Google gives its spreadsheet, word processing apps a common platform, uniform UI

Google has integrated its formerly separate spreadsheet and word processing applications, giving them a uniform user interface and a unified document repository. By creating a common platform, Google seeks to make it easier for people to switch between Writely and Google Spreadsheets, Google officials said.

The combined product, called Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which will become available on Wednesday in beta or test form, is available over

Google made it easier to switch back and forth between these two hosted applications because it has learned from user feedback that many people use both to work on similar tasks, such as making lists and plans, said product manager Jonathan Rochelle.

The effort also follows from Google's recently articulated strategy to group its many individual online services into fewer sets, said product manager Jen Mazzon. It's likely that other products will join the Writely and Spreadsheets group, she said.

Google has been on a tear this past year, introducing new products and services at a dizzying clip, and its top executives have recently expressed concern that people are confused and can't keep track of them.

The integration of Writely and Spreadsheets should be seamless to users, the product managers said.

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