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A View from Michael Patrick Gibson

Google Unveils PowerPoint Competitor

With its complete online office suite, Google banks on Web-based collaboration to capture market share from Microsoft.

  • September 18, 2007

Yesterday, Google launched Presently, its online presentation creator and its direct competitor to Microsoft’s PowerPoint. As with Google documents and spreadsheets, users can collaborate in real time from different locations: the PowerPoint competitor lets them simultaneously create, share, and view presentation slide decks via a Web browser.

On the face of it, Google has now replicated all the main features of Microsoft Office for its online office suite, although, as some have pointed out, its package is missing several of Microsoft’s flashier bells and whistles.

The main novelty of the Web-based application, and the main aspect that Google hopes will give it an edge, is that it eliminates the need to create multiple versions of the same file as the file evolves in a work flow. By putting the presentation application online, everyone working on it will literally be on the same page.

But will Google Docs, as its office suite is known, ultimately replace the Microsoft Office suite? That will depend in large part on its appeal in a corporate marketplace where Microsoft is currently king. It’ll be an uphill battle, but Google is making a fine start.

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