Information Week: Second Life to Open Source Server source code
ecademy - joining yet another business-focused social networking site (and doing so because of a Skype public chat)

Google to add PowerPoint/presentation capability... but will it work when you are presenting offline?

You knew it had to come. Google already had documents and spreadsheets-  the remaining major office category was, of course... presentations.  And so yes, sure enough, here comes word from Google that they'll be adding presentation cababilities this summer through the recent acquisition of a company called Tonic Systems.

As a huge user of PowerPoint, I'll certainly be curious to check it out.  From a collaboration point-of-view, I could certainly see the benefit.  It also makes it rather easy to get your presentation to the conference staff or display it, i.e. no need to plug in your laptop to the display, just pull up a web browser and login.

However, I think about the fact that very often when I am presenting I am either:

  • At a conference in a room/facility with NO Internet access.
  • At a conference in a room/facility with crappy/overloaded Internet access.
  • At a customer location presenting behind a corporate firewall - and not always with Internet access.

In all of those places, you really need an offline version.  Perhaps Google will provide a way to export to PowerPoint or PDF.

For public presentations I could certainly see the utility.  Many of my own presentations include proprietary info, though, and so I wonder what the security of the system will be... will companies feel comfortable putting their data up into Google's servers?

It will also be curious to see if Google just puts it up as a presentation tool or whether they will include social networking aspects like those in SlideShare.

Anyway, it's interesting to hear about... I look forward to seeing it whenever it comes out this year.  Meanwhile, I'm still waiting to see what Google does with JotSpot, which is annoyingly still undergoing "integration" with Google.