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Google has added Google Docs & Spreadsheets to its Google Apps On Your Domain offering, in another sign of the search giant's slow, mythological creep toward a Web 2.0-style Office rival.

Google Apps allows site administrators to issue users with white-label installations of Google's Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Start Page and Page Creator services, with apps accessible from the owners' domain name rather than on google.com.

Now Google has added its Docs & Spreadsheets service, which rose from its acquisition of Writely, allowing users on the same domain to write and collaboratively edit word processor and financial documents.

Users can publish documents only to colleagues on the same domain. The facility could be used for internal communication and for intranet-like functions.

The Apps package is marketed to small businesses, enterprises, schools and families. Sky Broadband subscribers in the UK already use the system to manage their sky.com email through a Gmail interface.

Commentators have been excited in the last year by the prospect Google would offer an online rival to Microsoft's Office suite. The Mountain View company recently launched a slicker new Apps control panel and a premier edition with no ads and increased mailbox space.

But, while the Gmail and Docs offerings represent probably the best web applications in their fields, the Apps package involves a learning curve and is aimed squarely at the enterprise, rather than the consumer, space.

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Published 22 February, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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