Google PowerPoint in the works

I mentioned Google’s lack of an online Presentation app (i.e. a browser-based PowerPoint) previously. Well, according to TechCrunch today, it looks as if they are addressing that gap in their offerings.

With the addition of online presentation software, Google becomes a serious player in the Office software space.

Key advantages of Google’s Office software offering

  1. It is free
  2. It is browser based so there is no software to download/install/maintain and
  3. It is constantly improving as Google rolls out new features

Key advantage of downloadable office software

  1. Works without an Internet connection
  2. Has more functionality

These are short-term advantages as Internet connectivity becomes more ubiquitous and Google keeps adding functionality to its offerings.

Online software, or Software as a Service (SaaS) as it is being called, is slowly but surely displacing the traditional software model. Software companies need to adapt their development models with this in mind or they could become the blacksmiths of the future!

UPDATE: – I see Paul Kedrosky, Mark Evans, and Matthew Ingram have all posted reasonably similar thoughts on this development.

13 thoughts on “Google PowerPoint in the works”

  1. Key disadvantages of Google’s Office software offering:

    1. someone else has your data.

    That is by definition the case with all SaaS offerings Bernard. You either decide to trust the service provider and use the service, or not.

  2. a pedant writes.

    what’s with this “more ubiquitous” stuff?!? how can you *be* more omnipresent?!?

    i’m sorry, but this slaughtering of the mother tongue by techies kills me. throughout the last dot.com boom everything was about being “more unique” – is Web 2.0 now going to kill ubiquity as a word too?

    recant and strikout out that word more now, please!

    🙂

  3. i’m sorry, but this slaughtering of the mother tongue by techies kills me.

    Hi fmk,

    Not sure about Tom, but I am Irish, and English is not my mothertongue!

    Striking a blow for pedants everywhere.

    😛

  4. Feargal, I have deleted the word “more” from the piece.

    Bernard – ROFL – excellent response. Sorry Feargal, you asked for that.

    Johnny – I have written about Zoho in the past. They certainly do seem to be improving their offerings since I last wrote about them and they did really well at DEMO by all accounts. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Tom,

    At least you got a kinder reception to this than when I did a similar piece over at O’Reilly.

    I think the ‘Someone else has your data’ problem will be solved in two ways.

    1) Once Microsoft responds with it’s online service (like it must), then you have a 2nd supplier to fall back on.

    2) Trust, built up over time, starting with the consumer market. Already I would Trust Google with my data more than your average Virus ridden PC.

    Paul

  6. tom – thanx. the murder of the word unique during the dot.com boom really did get to me. though it’s a sad realisation that i’m now a language nazi. and i haven’t even read ‘eats, shoots and leaves’ yet.

    bernard – i was gonna write “constitutional second language” but couldn’t be bothered. but you really shoulda written that one in irish, to really score the point.

    🙂

    on the substantive point. i really don’t like the idea of online apps (more for access issues than security) and doubt i’ll ever really warm to the notion of wordprocessing or spreadsheeting over the web. for now, i’ll stick with openoffice.org as a viable alternative to ms products (which i think has a power point clone, though i never use it).

  7. Paul Browne

    2) Trust, built up over time, starting with the consumer market.
    Already I would Trust Google with my data more than your average Virus ridden PC.

    Then you need to get some anti-virus for your computers paul. 🙂

    Hi Paul,

    Are you honestly saying that you would put all you financial data onto a third party hosted server, with no SLA, no technical support, no guaranteed privacy policy to YOU (ie your business)?

    I love web 2.0 and all the madness that comes with it. But I want some guarantees.

    Listening to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code (hea it gets me to the office without having to listen to the boring Luas banter), he mentioned something I saw as important.

    “Sure, I love Google, all my mail is there, and we use Google spreadsheets to make lists, etc. But I mean our finance guys don’t use it, they use Excel”

    Thats obviously paraphrasing.

    Its amazing that people would put “all their data in one basket”. Sorry..its early!
    bernard

  8. Bernard,

    I haven’t been hacked (yet), but what about your *average* PC?

    Are you honestly saying that you would put all you financial data onto a third party hosted server, with no SLA, no technical support, no guaranteed privacy policy to YOU (ie your business)?

    Yes it’s madness , but it’s what plenty of people do with GMail. Things get better with point 1 which you stragely didn’t quote 🙂

    Once Microsoft responds with it’s online service (like it must), then you have a 2nd supplier to fall back on.

    Paul

  9. Hi Paul,
    I forgot to copy point 1, but thats what I get for reading my RSS feeds at 7:20 in the morning!

    1) Once Microsoft responds with it’s online service (like it must), then you have a 2nd supplier to fall back on.

    So Microsoft *will* be offering an alternative service. Fine. You have more choice. Good.

    When they do release it, I will look at their usage policy and privacy statement.

    But I would still stand on the same point regarding Microsoft’s online service

    Yes it’s madness , but it’s what plenty of people do with GMail. Things get better with point 1 which you stragely didn’t quote 🙂

    Regarding the plenty of people, what if one hundred people walked off a cliff…..

    Sorry but thats not a good reason.

    I use Gmail for mailing lists. I use it because I can afford to have the whole thing die, and not worry about work related data.

    If you would put all your financial spreadsheets, business related data on a service with no SLA, well…I don’t really know what to say!

    I read an interesting blog post, by a technology “person” (a technologist?) about teaching school children about choosing online applications.
    Although it was aimed at the education field, some points ring true here too:

    What’s the privacy policy?
    What’s the copyright policy?
    Where does the money come from? Techcrunch’s Deadpool is a trip down memory lane for some dead services.

    How can I get my data out?
    Recently, wiki application JotSpot “went dark” after being acquired by Google, and it hasn’t resurfaced. If you can’t get your data out, it will also “go dark”.

    This was an issue on Flickr (consumer photo sharing site-just for those who might not know about it) recently where people couldn’t get their data out easily.

    Like I said I love plenty of web 2.0 services, but a restraint needs to be excercised.

    I don’t think that we will agree, Paul. 🙂
    bernard

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