GMail and Google Spreadsheets' First Taste of Integration

Someone at the office told me about an article in Google Blogoscoped that said that Gmail now offers to let you edit spreadsheets attached to email. I decided to give it a try.

First, I created a dirt-simple spreadsheet. No formulas or calculations, just a table. This is hardly an unusual use of Excel; lots of people use it for creating tables and lists like this:

I then saved the spreadsheet and mailed it to my GMail address. Checking GMail, I saw that it offered an option for the spreadsheet attachment: :

Clicking on that link led to a short wait, which resulted in this page:

I have no idea how complex a spreadsheet Google Spreadsheets will support, but it's a sure bet that full Excel compatibility (or at least a very high degree of compatibility) is Google's goal. The .XLS format is the lingua franca of spreadsheets, and Google is embracing it through support and extending it by taking away some of the pain in the tedious “download/edit/upload” dance that we all do when working collaboratively on a spreadsheet.

I wonder how long it'll be before they do the same thing for Word documents.