Google Introduces A Feature Excel Has Had Since 1993

Google has added pivot tables to the spreadsheet in Google Docs, finally catching up to where Excel was in 1993.

If you spend any time crunching data in Excel, you already know about pivot tables. If not: they’re a way of taking data from one spreadsheet and summarizing it in another place — for example, taking sales data from thousands of cells and organising it by region.

Microsoft put a basic version of pivot tables into Excel 5, released in 1993, then updated it in 1997 and 2000.

You could get pivot tables on Google spreadsheets through use of an add-on gadget from Panorama, but as of today, they’re in there natively.

On one hand, it’s kind of amusing to see Google boast about a feature that Excel has had for almost 20 years.

But it also shows how Google could gradually keep adding features to its online services until one day Microsoft will wake up and find that the old comparisons no longer apply, and that Docs really is a complete replacement for Office.

Here’s a Google video explaining how pivot tables work in Docs: