I read earlier this week on TechCrunch that Google had officially added presentations to Google Docs. This addition has been rumored for some time, and it’s finally here. Presentations is a web-based tool to create electronic presentations in a way that users of Microsoft PowerPoint will be very familiar. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that PowerPoint has, but I have never been a big fan of all of that worthless eye (and ear) candy anyway.
Google now has a very impressive suite of products that can handle all of the communications and productivity needs of both home and business users. I will write a more in depth review of Google’s products in a later post. Let’s just say that I won’t be buying the next version of Microsoft Office any time soon. Stay tuned!
For all of us that have been telling our friends and co-workers to save their Microsoft Office 2007 files using the Office 2003 formats, we can finally stop worrying about it. Apple’s recently released iWork ’08 supports Microsoft’s Open XML formats that are the default files formats for Office 2007. While iWork can only read these formats at this time, I fully expect Apple to add the ability to write to these formats in an update soon. What’s funny about the whole situation is that Apple actually beat Microsoft to the punch with this release because Microsoft has yet to release a non-beta file converter for Office 2004. Full support for the Open XML formats is not expected in Office for Mac until the 2008 version that will be released in early 2008. If Apple can provide full read/write support for the Open XML formats in iWork by then, they have the chance to really increase their market share. There’s also another great reason for Mac users to switch from Office to iWork. iWork costs only $79 compared to the hundreds of dollars that Microsoft charges for Office. How can you beat that?
My buddy, Scott, and I went to the same Microsoft launch event for Windows Vista and Office 2007 in San Deigo and Saint Louis respectively. Even though we were separated by 2,000 miles and different speakers, we both came away with similar opinions of Windows Vista. It just isn’t all that impressive when you get right down to it. My wife and I have a new laptop running Vista, and it looks nice, but it has nothing that Mac OS X hasn’t had for years. Plus the laptop had to be souped up big time to even run the system. On the other hand, I have an almost eight year old Power Mac G4 running Mac OS X Tiger like a champ, and I plan to upgrade to Leopard soon after it is released. It seems to me that Microsoft tried too hard to make Vista look similar enough to XP that it wouldn’t freak people out. Vista has some really nice new features, and they could have been much cooler if the general layout of the desktop wasn’t the same as it’s been since Windows 95. There do seem to be some underlying technologies that could produce some cool new applications in the future. Now all we have to do is wait for developers to redesign their applications.