Google may be planning to beef up its online spreadsheet offering by hiring the founders of iRows, a browser-based spreadsheet service. A posting to the iRows blog on Tuesday announced that Israeli service iRows will shut down on Dec. 31 and that the company\u2019s founders will join Google. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nGoogle ScreenshotGoogle confirmed that it has hired iRows founders Yoah Bar-David and Itai Raz and that they will work in Google\u2019s Tel Aviv and Haifa research and development centers. In June, Google introduced Google Spreadsheets, a Web-based offering that lets users create and share spreadsheets and documents online, without using a software program like Microsoft\u2019s Excel. The offering was developed based on Google\u2019s acquisition of 2Web Technologies, a company that specialized in online information-sharing technology. At the time of the Google Spreadsheet service launch, there was some speculation that Google had bought iRows to create the offering. In an iRows blog posting, the founders wrote that the Google launch, though unrelated to iRows, drove more traffic to iRows than its servers could handle, presumably from people interested in other existing online spreadsheet offering. While iRows admitted that the Google offering has some more features than its own, iRows has some additional capabilities that Google doesn\u2019t support.When iRows closes, all data from user spreadsheets will be deleted. IRows details how customers can transport their spreadsheets to Google Spreadsheets. Customers won\u2019t be able to transfer charts, however, because they aren\u2019t supported by Google Spreadsheets. Some iRows users complained in postings on the blog about having to sign up to a Google account in order to use Google Spreadsheets. Google\u2019s spreadsheet offering also competes with AdventNet\u2019s Zoho online spreadsheet and document offering and Team and Concepts\u2019 EditGrid.-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)Related Link:\n\nGoogle Writely, Spreadsheets Get Common PlatformCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.