Google Docs has been around since 2006 after Google acquired Writely, XL2Web and DocVerse at various points to create a suite of applications that would later become Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings and Forms. Recently, Google announced Google Drive that folds Google Docs and Google Drive into the same offering. When we refer to Google Docs, we’re actually referring to the clouds based applications themselves.
The basic premise of these products is to provide an alternative to applications suites such as Microsoft Office and Exchange, but focused as online only (cloud based) with the ability to collaborate in real-time with other users.
The benefits to this model is that the cost to the end-user is minimal compared to the cost of acquiring the software, the hardware and the support services for something such as Microsoft Office.
Note: Google Docs can handle both the import of and export to various Microsoft Office program formats.
This articles describes how to upload a document in it's native format. For example, if you have a Microsoft Excel, Word or PowerPoint file, you may not want to accept the defaults (conversion to an equivalent Google Docs offering). Instead, you may want it in the same (native) format that it was saved to on your hard-drive.
This is important if you want to either share or re-open the file in the application that it was created in.