If you look at the Google Docs pulldown New menu, you’ll see a new option labeled Presentation. I’ve been waiting for Google’s presentation tool since hearing Google CEO Eric Schmidt announce it at the Web 2.0 Expo this past April. While it doesn’t match the features available in Apple’s Keynote or Microsoft’s PowerPoint, its strength lies in its barebones simplicity. It looks great for creating 3 to 10 simple slides for a quick presentation. It can import PowerPoint PPT files (but not the newer 2007 PPTX files). However, it does not export out to PowerPoint PPT files. Instead, it has the option for you to download a ZIP file containing an HTML presentation pack for local computer use. So, you only need a browser for local presentation and can do so even without an Internet connection.
I’m hoping for to see at least three more features added in the near future. First, Google please Gear-ify Documents, Spreadsheet, and Presentation so documents can be developed and used offline. Second, allow using images from Picasaweb instead of requiring image uploads. Third, let us embed video from YouTube into Presentations.
Is Google Presentation a threat to Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or even OpenOffice.org Impress? Not… quite… yet. But, Google Presentations has a lot to offer right now. Hey, can someone try it out on an iPhone and iPod touch to see how it looks/works there and report back here?