Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced at the Web 2.0 expo that Google is really working on a Presentation application. I can almost hear the crowd going ooh-aah.. but the thing is, this is not a product that is coming out of Google's own stable. Google's recent acquisition of Tonic Systems will provide the technology that will boost the development of the product.
Tonic Systems possesses the intricate know-how in presentation & document conversion technology.
They state that -
"The PowerPoint file format is a very complex format made more so because of the lack of any documentation from Microsoft.
Through many man-years of R&D we understand that format better than any other 3rd party provider. This is why we can produce the range of products we do. This is not a sideline for us. Our products faithfully read and write to that format."
The pertinent issues with Google Docs & Spreadsheets are mostly compatibility issues. So Tonic's acquisition will hopefully plug the issues related to the PowerPoint format compatibility.
The launch of the presentation app will complete the 'basic' suite of applications & will hopefully position Google as prime competition to MS Office although Mr Schmidt refuses to agree that Google is going to compete with MS Office directly.
He says -
"We're not as fully functional as MS Office, we're more in line with how
people use the Web than how they use the desktop."
Well Mr Schmidt, its alright to play safe & hide all your cards in a game of poker but I think all of us know that any productivity application that gets launched will most definitely compete for market space with the big boys from Redmond no matter how much Google champions the adoption of a web based computing platform.
It's still a long way to go.