I totally accept there are plenty of valid uses so I’m not making any blanket statements here.
Are big Excel users out of date dinosaurs?
Of course there are a few people doing genuinely novel analysis, for whom something as flexible as a spreadsheet makes the most sense.
Lots of people though create reports/analysis once and just update the data and publish (probably by printing on dead tress and binding in a comb binder right?)
Are these folks just out of date with the last 20 years worth of software development progress?
Shouldn’t they be consuming data from some web service and publishing their analysis via some OLAP silverlight tomfoolery? All by dragging some nice shapes around on a screen?(or 3D Minority Report UI) And of course consuming all that data on a myriad of devices, including handhelds – and perhaps that new watch mobile I read about recently.
If a new company started up and banned spreadsheets would it fail for not being agile enough ?
What if the data part could not be saved, just the logic? Thats like many of the enterprise reporting apps.
And are spreadsheets holding back the adoption of other richer technologies?
Now, I think spreadsheets are stunning at all sort of things, but the most common use I see is probably data holding and transmission, both of which could be better done by other tech.
When you look around your company or other companies or on-line or whatever are you struck by how many people are really leveraging the benefits of spreadsheets whilst managing their weaknesses? Or like me, do you see lots of examples of people painting themsleves into a corner by the way they use spreadsheets?
(I am not pretending I am purely a spectator in this – I just delivered a spreadsheet horror to a client, supa-mega-urgent-massive-late-changes meant the Access based system that I had designed and started building had to be paused whilst I threw together a (hopefully) temporary crisis avoidance tool.)