Another small announcement from Google that will make Google Drive yet a little bit easier to use and more attractive to users. This time the upgrade is to spreadsheets, enabling groups or teams working on the same spreadsheet to secure the information contained in each cell.
Let’s face it, spreadsheets are not exactly cutting edge; you don’t see venture funds pricking up their ears when a company announces changes to them, or a new release. But most business users have to use them at some point in their work schedule, and if they work better than they do already … well, so much the better.
The change to Google Drive's offering is the addition of protected ranges to spreadsheets. This allows users to "protect" -- or lock -- designated areas of the spreadsheet so that no one else can change or edit the content in the designated boxes.
Google Docs Spreadsheet Lock Down
Anyone that has ever had to clean up, or re-enter information in the past will be happy with this one, especially given the simplicity of the feature.
To protect a range, highlight chosen cells, select "Data" on the menu, then "Named and protected ranges" from the drop down menus and just add away.
It is also particularly useful because it enables the document's administrator to distribute different rights to the protected areas, to control which information can be changed and by whom.
The update introduces new colors and patterns for cell borders, and adds searching using patterns that enables search across the spreadsheet using specific letters.
Google's Business Suite
Again, it’s only a very small change, but one of the many changes that Google has made to Google Docs over the years that have made it as popular as it currently is. Docs, of course, is no longer Docs as it was incorporated into Google Drive earlier this year in April.
With it, Google has built up a real competitor for Office, even if the Office 2013 Preview has thrown up all kinds of functionality that will probably make it a big seller.
However, Google has continued its steady release of small upgrades to its business suite apps that has made it increasingly popular across businesses of all sizes.
It is now so versatile that in January this year, Docs was able to notch up Spanish bank BBVA as a customer, along with BBVA’s 110,000 employees -- the biggest single customer win it has managed to date.
So Microsoft has upgraded Office 365 and there are other business suite rivals around too, but Google Drive, with Docs included, is well up there, and with more improvements a certainty, it remains a major contender in the space. If you want to see more of Lock Down, check out the blog here.