Google Labs has released Web-based word processing and spreadsheet products, moving further into the arena dominated by chief rival Microsoft.
The products, not yet available commercially, but "graduated" from the labs, are available for users to try out.
On the Google Labs site, users are urged to "play" with the prototypes – described as "not quite reach for prime time" and let the developers hae any feedback.
The product is described thus: "If you've ever struggled to keep track of different versions of spreadsheet or word processor files sent over email, Google Docs & Spreadsheets may be right for you.
"Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free Web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers.
"You can, for example, coordinate your student group's homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues on a new business plan."
Product benefits are listed as follows:
* Get started quickly: Import your existing documents and spreadsheets, or create new ones from scratch;
* Edit your documents and spreadsheets from anywhere: All you need is a Web browser – your documents and spreadsheets are stored securely online; and
* Share changes in real-time: Invite people to your documents/spreadsheets and make changes together, at the same time.