The Google Blog has broken the news today that the Google Crew will be launching a web presentation application to do what Powerpoint does. I can’t help but picture someone in a big meeting, walking an executive team through a strategy presentation. The presentation starts with the presenter looking for a network point and battling to get internet connectivity. Once he sorts that out he gets his presentation going and pulls up slide number one. It has big fonts, with an intro saying “Executive Summary of xyz strategy”. down the right hand side of the slide there is a skyscraper of adword ads and the top three say “Buy new and used xyz strategy on eBay”. Terrific
From the google blog post:
First of all, we want to welcome the team from Tonic Systems to Google. Tonic, which we’ve just acquired, is based in San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia. They have some great technology for presentation creation and document conversion, and it will be a great addition as we add presentation sharing and collaboration capabilities to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
The whole point of presenting or pitching is the ability to be prepared. Being prepared means eliminating every possible risk of something going wrong. When I used to present as a consultant I used to have a backup of my powerpoint on my USB key. I would take printed copies with me. There is no way I would walk into a presentation and say “I need an internet connection before I can start, please”. It is for this reason, combined with Powerpoint’s core market (I know I’m making an assumption here) that I think the response from Microsoft as well as from business people would be something along the lines of “meh”. And this is why I think Read/WriteWeb are a little off the mark with their headline article captioned by a graphic saying “Microsoft vs Google”.
I’d be interested to see the demographics of who actually ends up using the Google product – using, not trialling – and to somehow determine who of those people actually owns a licensed copy of powerpoint personally or through work. The bit that interests me much more than the “meh” is the collaboration and sharing thing. that’s largely overlooked and understated in the posts I’ve seen, and I’d see that as an on-the-back-foot move responding to whats in Office 2007 – Groove. Groove rocks. If you don’t know Groove check it out. That’s a tough act to follow.