Google has taken another step forward on the path to rounding out their online office suite.
The rumored PowerPoint clone is available in Google Docs now, and is really easy to use.
It allows you to create really simple slides, really quickly. It’s strong point is definitely simplicity.
You won’t see embedded media or animations, or custom templates, but it does what it should do:
Make it easy to present an idea without having to be a Powerpoint ninja.
There are a few hiccups here and there ,(slide previews are funky), but overall it works very well.
Some of the cool features include:
1. Upload/convert existing .ppt,.pps(up to 10 mb), or email to your google docs email addr.
2. Export/Save as .zip gives you a nice html version that you can hack to your hearts content.
3. Online collaboration (same as other “Docs” types)
3. Start a Presentation.
This last feature is the one that hints at the cool things google could do with online office apps.
When you “start” your presentation, you are given a url that can be distributed to others you want to invite to view it.
Once they click on the link, you can see who is online watching, and they can follow along as slides change.
Integrate this with Google Talk or any other voip app, and you have free or nearly free, bare bones web conferencing.
After working in the conferencing industry, I learned that the key to having a productive meeting was simplicity.
The easier it is to get someone into the meeting, the easier it will be to keep their attention .
Too many times, people get distracted by the technology( for good or bad reasons), and end up missing the point of meeting on the web altogether: Conveying a message with a visual tool. This seems like a good way to keep the content simple and keep meeting attendees engaged. Everyone knows how to use a browser.
Check it out by going to docs.google.com