Google competes with Microsoft with spreadsheet service

Internet giant Google is set to introduce a spreadsheet program, continuing the Internet search leader's expansion into territory long dominated by Microsoft, an Associated Press report said.

The report said that although it was still considered a work in progress, Google's online spreadsheet would offer consumers and businesses a free alternative to Microsoft's Excel application, a product typically sold as part of the Office software suite that had been a steady moneymaker for years.

To avoid swamping the company's computers, Google's spreadsheet would initially be distributed to a limited audience, the report said.

Google's spreadsheet would not be as sophisticated as Excel. For instance, the Google spreadsheet would not create charts or provide a menu of controls that could be summoned by clicking on a computer mouse's right-hand button, the report further said.