Posted September 18, 2007 10:00 am by with 3 comments

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google-presentation With all the hype surrounding Google’s pending launch of a PowerPoint challenger, today’s launch is a little anti-climatic.

I know, I know, I should have been prepared that Google Presentation would be the bare bones of a online presentation tool–just look at how their Word and Excel challengers started out–but I’m still a little disappointed with the lack of features.

Before I run down the list of features, you can see Google Presentation in action with this presentation I created.

Here’s what you do get with today’s launch of Google Presentation:

  • Create and keep presentations in one place on the web that’s accessible anytime, from any Internet connected computer.
  • Manage, update and share presentations with colleagues by sending them a simple email invitation.
  • Edit together online and in real time, or contribute at different times to the same presentation on the web.
  • Present and control slide shows for all viewers over the web, with no special setup required. Chat with viewers in real-time via integrated chat.
  • Import existing presentations to get started quickly.
  • Quickly publish presentations to the general public or individuals of their choice.

Here’s what you don’t get:

  • No animation
  • No slide effects
  • No graphic elements or charting
  • Can’t customize themes–you do get a choice of 15 pre-formatted themes
  • Lots more missing features

Admittedly, Google may well be targeting the type of user that wants a simple tool–after all it’s free–and you do get the benefit of being able to share and collaborate online. Still, even Google execs had a hard time trying to tout the features of Google Presentation. In their release, these are the only statements offered up…

“This new presentation feature to Google Docs will be an extremely useful tool to our users and gives us an easy way to — literally — get on the same page,” said Scott Smith, vice president, Envirolet Environmental Sanitation and Google Apps administrator for Sancor Industries. “In our business the better the process for sharing information is, the better we can illustrate to our customers the value of our products.”

“From student groups to sales teams, people are turning to the web for help improving both personal and group productivity,” said Sam Schillace, director of engineering, Google Docs. “Putting documents in the cloud surrounded by easy to use features for collaboration and sharing can save people hours of inefficiency and frustration and even enable new ways of working together.”

“Envirolet Environmental Sanitation and Google Apps administrator for Sancor Industries” that’s the biggest endorser they could get? No offense to Envirolet, but that’s a pretty weak testimonial.

It seems even Google is admitting that, right now, the online sharing feature is about the best thing going for Google Presentation.

Lastly, Google has decided that Google Docs, Spreadsheets & Presentations would be too much of a mouthful, so they’ve shortened the product suite name to simply Google Docs.

So, what do you think? A good start by Google? A lame first effort? Share your thoughts.

  • No animation and no slide effects. Sounds good to me.

    I’ve never been a power point (or any kind of presentation software) fan but I prefer to keep it simple, clean, and just provide the data.

  • The “only” thing going for it is collaboration and simplicity?

    Those are two HUGE ‘onlys”!

    It’s like saying the only thing the Honda Civic Hybrid has going for it is fuel efficiency, reliability, and style!

    Online collaboration is huge. And most audiences are burned out by gee-whiz transition and animation features. No templates and animations? No gee-wizardry?

    So what? 😉

  • yup – ditto on Laura’s comments – get the collaboration thing going well and the rest is cake!!!!