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Spicing up spreadsheetsAt Google's I/O developer conference in San Francisco this week, CNET News.com's Kara Tsuboi met with Jonathan Rochelle, product manager of Google Docs, to discuss the Web-based collaborative office suite. Find out what's going on in the "sexy" world...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hey there I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET News.com. I'm joined by Jonathan Rochelle, who's the product manager for Google Docs. Thanks for joining us. >> No problem. >> And the Google IO Conference here in San Francisco is just about over today. Why don't you tell us how it's been for you guys? This is the first ever conference. >> Yes, it's actually, it's an expansion of something we did last year called Developer Day. >> Okay. >> But it's a major expansion. I think we got a lot more attendance and it's been great. I mean, it's our opportunity to reach out to developers and developer's opportunity to give us feedback on our interactive tools, our APIs, all of our code products. >> And that covers a wide range of products. >> Yeah. >> Everything from Android to mapping to docs. >> Yeah, to docs and even ads. >> And what kind of feedback have you gotten. What kind of success with this whole integration of the community. >> It feels like it's been a huge success. I mean, the buzz on the first day felt really strong and I think everybody was very excited to hit their target. So, somebody who's interested in maps or into docs or into our, you know, our Visualization API or something. You know, they seem to get what they want out of it as the session went and I'll be interested to talk to people when it's over. So we don't have all the feedback yet, but I think it's been really good. >> Now since Docs is in your title as a Product Manager from Google Docs. >> Yeah. >> Why don't you tell us about the success in your niche? >> Sure. So for us, we've got a lot of new APIs. So the ability to first collaborate on the Web on documents, spreadsheets, presentations was our early product. And as we added APIs it gave people the opportunity to make collaborative capabilities part of their application or part of their Website. So, the latest thing is visualization. So for us, being able to tell developers a little bit more about how they can use visualization to enhance their website is a huge success for us. I mean really, a really interesting product that's very new. >> And why don't you give us an example of how a developer can use visualization. >> Sure. So, I mean, one of the first things we launched as part of our, what we call Gadgets-in-Docs. I mean, it's using the normal gadget's capabilities that you see on iGoogle or other sites, but it was a pivot table, which is a very common spreadsheet term for summary of data, but it wasn't developed by Google. It was developed by another company called Panorama. And the Panorama pivot table now developed by an external developer is part of in some ways the spreadsheets product, the Google product because it can be embedded in a spreadsheet. Then another example is Gunstra, some thing that people use for project management or for showing timelines developed by external developers. So, developers see an opportunity to create a business around something they know very well, but embedded in our tools. >> I guess Docs is maybe not quite as sexy as, you know, Android or maps or Google Help these days. >> Yes. >> But, it's one of those programs that just when it runs well, it runs really well. >> Yeah, exactly. >> It seems. >> And it actually is the sexiest program in my mind. >> Oh yeah. >> But really, actually, there's a new part about Docs and the thing that makes it so exciting and the wild moment really for people when they first use it, as soon as the second person joins them online, and starts collaborating in real time and they see the person and let's say on the spreadsheet, they can see where they are and what they're editing and what they're changing and they start chatting about the spreadsheet as they're updating it and this -- you know, again, the spreadsheet is not all numbers. It's information. >> Sure. >> So we see people doing wedding plans with families, you know, even a lot of consumers bases is very interesting there. >> Yeah. >> It actually, for me it's one of the highlights of really what you call Web 2.0 or collaborative space or and for developers to leverage that and bring collaborative real-time capabilities into their apps is very powerful. >> So where do you go from here as a product manager for something like this. You put on display for all these outside developers, what are the next steps for Google. >> I mean for us, in most of our products just giving people a channel than to show their wares. So even in the enterprise phase, when we were really offering our capabilities to businesses, the Enterprise Solutions Gallery's is a good example of that. Giving developers not just the opportunity to develop, but an opportunity to sell or show their products to our users. And that's really something that independent developers and I think that makes this conference so important for developer is it gives them an opportunity to understand not just the one aspect of their business -- developing, but the selling side, the promotion and the distribution and we offer huge distribution channel through our site. >> Give us a little teaser, a little something that we have to look forward to in the future for Google Docs. >> That's a tough one. >> Near future for Google Docs. >> Yeah, that's a tough one. My mind has to process what, you know, what we can and what we can say. Unfortunately, we hardly ever do that, but I do think that you're gonna see a lot more in the gadget space and a lot more in the, what we call embedded tool space, so we [inaudible] is a great example. >> Okay. >> Not to -- I can't give you anything. I know it's hard forward racing and oh, we got the scoop, but sorry. I think there's so much news yesterday that I think that was probably overwhelming. >> Well, that you for your time Jonathan. >> Yeah, great. >> And continued success with Google Docs. >> Thanks, thank you. >> I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET News.com reporting from Google IO here in San Francisco. ^M00:04:43 [ Music ]