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Google Launches Powerpoint Competition, Web Ads for Mobile Devices

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the never-a-dull-moment-in-mountain-view dept.

Google 107

fullstop writes "Google has finally launched their online presentation tool to complete its office offerings at Google Docs." Relatedly several users have also mentioned that Google plans to start selling ads for cell phone-targeted websites. "The company said that its new product, AdSense for Mobile, would establish a cellphone advertising network in which Google would match ads with the content of mobile Web pages, much as it does online. Other Internet giants, including Yahoo and AOLTime Warner, as well as some start-ups, have also created advertising networks tailored for mobile phones."

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"wed sites"?? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20651521)

Come on editors! It's even underlined for you as a hyperlink!

Either that or the mail-order brides business is booming far more than we originally expected! ;)

Re:"wed sites"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20652561)

What is a wed site? Is it an acornim for Wedding Site? Back in my day, we used to just call them a weddign hall.

Re:"wed sites"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20654957)

What is a wed site? Is it an acornim for Wedding Site?


What is an 'acornim'? Is it a pen name for squirrels?

Re:"wed sites"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20656947)

What is a squirrel? Is it a .. Damn it! never mind.

Not shabby (4, Informative)

TrippTDF (513419) | about 7 years ago | (#20651549)

The Presentation tool isn't bad- simple interface, but there's a limited number of themes, and it looks like no way to create your own, other than uploading an existing PowerPoint deck. It also doesn't support transitions. However, the integrated sharing ability is what really make this a winner. If anyone is shaking in their boots, it should be WebEx, as this makes it much easier to view a deck than using their software.

Still, it seems that the adoption of Google's tools is pretty slow. Most people I talk to are still skeptical of them.

Re:Not shabby (4, Insightful)

darthflo (1095225) | about 7 years ago | (#20651929)

Most people I talk to are still skeptical of them.
I agree that it is a rather nice product, however I still belong to the skepticists for some reasons:
  • Privacy (i.e. Google sees everything I do)
  • Not liking the idea of losing all my docs if Google decides to be bankrupt some day (I know I can store all my docs locally, but that'd defeat most of GDocs advantages
  • Features (i.e. GDocs "is teh sux" when feature-compared to OOo or even MSO 2007)
  • Web apps may be nice, but they're made much more than they are. Remember moving away from dumb terminals not too long ago?
  • Availability (Thanks to WWAN and good mobile networks, I am seldomly disconnected, but I'd like to be able to have my stuff handy when abroad or in a cave (powering my notebook with a miniature nuclear reactor (the cave's deep enough not to let any GSM/802.11/CDMA radio in or Pu radiation out, no threat to National Security® there)))

Re:Not shabby (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 7 years ago | (#20652197)

Dumb terminals are a better idea than fat clients for most corporate employees who use the same software day in day out.

Re:Not shabby (0, Troll)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | about 7 years ago | (#20654659)

Features (i.e. GDocs "is teh sux" when feature-compared to OOo or even MSO 2007)

Haha. I love OSS as much as the next guy, but I gotta love how you spin that to make it sound like OOo is so obviously more feature rich than MSO 2007. Are you serious? Please tell me you're not.

Re:Not shabby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20654963)

[AC 'cause I ain't sending me credentials over unsecured WLan and am too lazy to openvpnly secure the link, it's still me though]

No, I wasn't implying OOo to be more feature rich than MSO 2007, I thought of it as exactly the other way round (GDoc is worse than (feature-wise mediocre) stuff like OOo or even (feature-packed beasts) like MSO 07). Sorry 'bout being ambiguous :)

Re:Not shabby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20655613)

And yet he's still a troll, though the two of you agree. Way to go, Slashdot mods!

Re:Not shabby (1)

bob shade (1158621) | about 7 years ago | (#20658741)

The only part that it's missing for me is the ability to add a soundtrack

Re:Not shabby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20659079)

How's that go, again? Oh yeah—that's a feature, not a bug.

Re:Not shabby (1)

trenien (974611) | about 7 years ago | (#20661709)

I'd say it all depends what you do with it.

Ever since I could get an account with writely, I've been using it to have an easy way to get document translated back at my company HQ (where I go maybe twice a year). I could do it with regular documents and email, but this is way simpler.

Of course, none of the documents I make that way are secrets in any shape or form.

Adoption would be faster (0, Redundant)

Shivetya (243324) | about 7 years ago | (#20651937)

if many of us

a) actually cared

b) didn't have a working solution now.

Off the top, I have both XP and OS X machines at home. On my XP machine I have the Office Suite and on the Mac I have NeoOffice. Yes there are alternatives to Powerpoint but the fact is, I don't care, Powerpoint does what I need and if I need advice I can find it so fast its just beyond compare.

In the end most people don't care, the MS products and those of other companies work. Its bad enough learning a new application because you have too but when your time is valuable learning one you don't need doesn't usually occur

Re:Adoption would be faster (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | about 7 years ago | (#20657201)

I agree. Except for the price and Word, I actually really like Microsoft's office suite. I would love word too if it didn't insist on telling me how my documents should be formated instead of doing what I tell it to, but oh well.

As an aside, does anyone know of a good resource on how to make MS Word behave?

Offline work? (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 7 years ago | (#20651975)

"Most people I talk to are still skeptical of them."

Offline work? Yeah, you can make it with the Google app, then download it and work on it offline...but then, why bother to use the Google app? This is the problem with web-apps: you are relying on an internet connection, and we just don't have that kind of infrastructure here in America. Then there is the problem of putting your data in someone else's hands. And the lack of an actual AJAX standard. And the fact that Google apps don't support my browser of choice (forcing me to change the user agent...and have it work anyway. So why is it still unsupported?).

So get back to me when this stuff isn't a problem, and I'll look at Google apps again.

Re:Offline work? (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 7 years ago | (#20653459)

"Offline work? Yeah, you can make it with the Google app, then download it and work on it offline...but then, why bother to use the Google app?"

This may not apply to you, but I like it because I work from several different computers throughout the day. Google Docs is a nice centralized place to work on documents. I can start something at home, go to work, work on it some more, go back home, do even more, etc. I don't have to tote the docs around on a thumb-drive or something. It's valuable to me, so much so that I don't even bother installing Office anymore. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Re:Offline work? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 7 years ago | (#20654655)

Well, everyone's situation is different. If the locations you are working at do not have an office suite install, then I can see a need for Google Docs. In my situation, I have a laptop, and I also have several servers in various locations (one little personal one that I run for myself) that I can use to store some files and pick them up from another location. As you noted, everyone's situation is different.

Re:Offline work? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 7 years ago | (#20656427)

"In my situation, I have a laptop, and I also have several servers in various locations (one little personal one that I run for myself) that I can use to store some files and pick them up from another location. As you noted, everyone's situation is different."

The only thing I'll say to that is that GDocs saves you all the synching hassle. Just open, edit, save. (As opposed to download, open, edit, save, re-upload.... open the doc later and hope you didn't forget to reupload it earlier....)

If you can take your net connection for granted (as I can, obviously...), there are interesting advantages to GDocs. If you're interested, I'd be happy to talk more about it. I'd do it now, but I'm worried about putting you in the position of thinking I'm trying to ram it down your throat. I'm not, I've just been rather pleased with it lately. Actually, my main beef with it right now is that my Treo doesn't support it. Argh.

Re:Offline work? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 7 years ago | (#20657093)

Go head; I'd like to hear about these features. I am personally very skeptical about web apps, but I do like to know what other people think is good about them.

Re:Offline work? (3, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 7 years ago | (#20659297)

Alrighty. 'll give yout he pros and cons version:

Pros:

- Typically I work across 3 different computers. Work, Home desktop, Home laptop. Also, from time to time, I'm asked to use other machines at work. GDocs is central and easy to get to. For this reason, I often use it for scratch stuff. For example: I recently purchased a computer. I created a spreadsheet at home with all the components + prices I wanted. Then, at work, one of my coworkers told me about a brand of product I'd probably like better. I spent a few minutes on my lunch break looking into it, agreed with him, and modified that spreadsheet. (It wouldn't have occured to me to upload that spreadsheet from home to my server since I didn't expect to want to modify it from work.)

- I can 'publish' documents, which means they basically go up on the web as HTML and people can view them. I get a kick out of this because it's like quickly putting up a web page. I can write out a doc, attach pics, etc, and just hit 'Publish', then I get a link I can send people.

- I've never personally used this, but GDocs supports collaboration. Other people can edit the documents if you enable this. You can also restrict who can look at it, and there's even mention of using RSS propogation for it. I haven't personally used that but I imagine there's some interesting uses for this.

- GDocs automatically saves every few seconds. That makes it hard to lose a lot of data if your net connection suddenly dies. It also shows you the changes/revisions you've made over the life of the document. As a matter of fact, I just checked, and all those revisions from stuff I've written last Xmas are there. (I think Word has a similar feature, but I'm not familiar with it.)

- You can Google Search through your docs. I've never really used that, but that feature is absolutely killer with email.

- If you're a fan of how GMail organizes its emails, you're in for a treat. In my opinion, it's a lot more intuitive than storing files in a folder structure. (Without losing the benefits of the file structure.) Actually, I think this is what Microsoft had in mind when they were talking about the new file system for Vista that they never got around to finishing.


Cons:

- Yeah... if the net breaks, GDocs is useless. I've bumped into that a couple of times.

- This shouldn't be a 'con' so much as just a little warning to you. I don't do a lot of formal docs with GDocs. I don't know how effective its page layout tools are. If you need to do something that's print sensitive, I cannot guarantee you that it'd satisfactorally replace Office.

- Excel's interface is definitely more repsonsive than GDoc's Spreadsheets. For simple stuff it's good, but I've ached for Excel on more than one occasion.

- I can export as XLS, DOC, etc. But I cannot guarantee you the quality of the save. Since I personally haven't tried it, I listed this as a con instead of a pro.

- If you hate how GMail stores its docs, you won't like this much.

- Microsoft's integration is a lot better. You can copy/paste from an Excel Spreadsheet to a Word Doc, and it'll retain the cells, formulas, etc. No such luck with Google Docs.

- Office's UI is just more intuitive. GDocs' isn't so bad it's unusable, but I do ache for it occasionally. Spell check, for example, is a lot friendlier in Office. It's rather basic in GDocs. Oh well.


I hope that's interesting to you. :)

Re:Not shabby (1, Interesting)

GIL_Dude (850471) | about 7 years ago | (#20652001)

I personally do a lot of presentations before live audiences. One of the things that I have to deal with is that many places (hotel conference areas in say Singapore, London, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Kazakhstan, etc.) that I show up at to speak don't have network connections available anywhere near where the speaker podium is. Sometimes their wireless works, sometimes it doesn't. In places where the wireless does work, it often goes down in the middle of the presentation either due to load or some other issue. I would never feel comfortable using an online presentation tool to do something like this. Now, it would be different if I was doing the classic "Web Ex" or "Live Meeting" type of thing from my office. This tool could possibly replace those. But for folks doing their presenting on the road you must have a presentation tool running on your notebook. Online just won't cut it for that at this point in time.

Re:Not shabby (5, Informative)

pato101 (851725) | about 7 years ago | (#20652375)

The thing comes with a "save as zip" option, which saves the html, images and javascript files, cleanly classified into folders, that allow the presentation to be shown completely offline.

Thumbs up! (2, Interesting)

pato101 (851725) | about 7 years ago | (#20652193)

It is interesting that the firefox integrated spellchecker works just fine in the dynamically placeable text boxes.

Re:Not shabby (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 7 years ago | (#20652443)

According to Wired [wired.com] ; the layout tools are weak, it's limited to a lousy 10 MB, and Zoho's Show [zoho.com] is better for both layout and online collaboration. So, who exactly is this app aimed at (other than just trying to cash in on the "Google" name)?

Re:Not shabby (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 7 years ago | (#20654667)

Agreed. Here was my three point usage experience.

Couldn't load it up on Opera, had to open Firefox. Strike one.

Couldn't create a simple shape unless I created that shape in a paint application and uploaded it. Strike two.

No transitions. You're outta there!

Re:Not shabby (1)

peipas (809350) | about 7 years ago | (#20657235)

Additionally, it doesn't seem to compensate for systems whose system font DPI has been bumped up. The example presentation in the article looks pretty godawful at 120 DPI. Talk about having to know your audience (and the configuration of their systems)!

Re:Not shabby (5, Insightful)

Rhaban (987410) | about 7 years ago | (#20652563)

It also doesn't support transitions.
Actually, I think that's a good thing. If there's one think I hate more than poorly designed powerpoint presentations, it's poorly design powerpoint presentations with over-animated special effect transitions.

Re:Not shabby (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | about 7 years ago | (#20652727)

Then that is to say, because you find transitions and animated effects to be bothersome they should not be available for other users to use?

Re:Not shabby (1)

Rhaban (987410) | about 7 years ago | (#20653071)

Yes. Because the only purpose of other people using transitions and effects is to show it to me afterwards.

Re:Not shabby (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 7 years ago | (#20655043)

Because the only purpose of other people using transitions and effects is to show it to me afterwards. Bullcrap. Even a simple fade is better than a sharp change of picture, especially on the eyes.

Re:Not shabby (1)

whyde (123448) | about 7 years ago | (#20655639)

If you have nothing worth saying, say it with PowerPoint(tm)!

Re:Not shabby (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 7 years ago | (#20652589)

Nah, WebEx is likely not afraid at all.

They provide controlled on-demand-when-you-need-it sharing of locally stored documents.

Google provides central storage of documents that are inaccessible without a network connection. The central storage alone is a major dealbreaker for most of WebEx's customers (who are looking for a reasonably secured on-demand-only collaboration system that works even from behind firewalls).

Re:Not shabby (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | about 7 years ago | (#20654157)

Well I adopted using google docs recently .Reason is I dont want to send documents back and forth between my home and office machine. So I keep there stuff I update regularly from both places (like my gym log, various notes etc) . I know about that privacy is nil but honestly I dont really care for the stuff I keep there.

Their spreadsheet is matured quite a bit and is usable, while I wont make anything too complex in there, but for logging multi row- multi column data it is ideal (especially that if ever the need arise to make pretty graphs out of it I can always export it to offline format).

As you can see... (3, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 7 years ago | (#20651553)

...the example presentation is Proprietary and Confidential. So don't go spreading this link across the Internet! Especially not on one of those high traffic sites like Slashdot.

[...]

(Oops)

Re:As you can see... (1)

sufijazz (889247) | about 7 years ago | (#20653685)

If I were the Product Manager for the presentation app, I'd like to see what features are being used and how often. Per privacy policies, Google cannot go around snooping into the docs or presentations that people create. So how does the Google Docs team study the use of their product by the populace?

The only way to do that is to provide YouTube-like functionality where people can upload and share their presentations online for open access.

Or am I wrong about the privacy policy and can Google study the presentations that I create? What about the degree of collaboration on my documents - can they monitor and trend that?

Re:As you can see... (1)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | about 7 years ago | (#20657691)

The way I understand it is their policies prohibit them from examining individual users. But this won't stop them from running a bunch of statistics and saying, well, 8.5% of the users are using feature X in such and such a way.

Not so sure... (2, Insightful)

gravos (912628) | about 7 years ago | (#20651567)

This will definitely overshadow the Zimbra bought by Yahoo yesterday and will haunt Microsoft Office unless they provide a simple webminar option.

I'm not so sure. Office has a lot of momentum and it will be hard to dethrone it or even steal away just a bit of marketshare unless Google finds a strong way to leverage their position to encourage people to use it.

For example, Apple has taken some marketshare away from Powerpoint with Keynote (insofar as I've seen people using it instead of MS Office), but only because they have a captive market to sell to.

Re:Not so sure... (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 years ago | (#20652177)

It does not have to win over 50% to make a difference. All it [google or any competition of MsOffice] has to do is to reach a critical mass. Currently people keep buying MsOffice because this is the only product that is guaranteed to be accepted by others they work with. And MsOffice freely changes file formats, look and feel, rendering engines, so that others can't interoperate with it. If there is a critical mass of people who routinely return the doc sent by email saying, "Please save it in pdf/office97/... format and send it back to me". And if they get docs in odf and MsOffice has trouble rendering exactly as intended, people will start thinking about office software. Once a critical mass is reached, things will very quickly settle down into an common medium.

What that critical mass is, I don't know. I would speculate it is around 10% of the market. That 10% will routinely interact with at least 20% of the MS-office customers.

A good old example of this is the EBCDIC vs ASCII battle. Old IBM mainframes and their teminals used to use Extended binary coded decimal Isomething Csomething and IBM used to sell these terminals, tape drives, modems etc at a nice premium. The non-proprietary open standard ASCII languished for a long long time. Then when the things turned around, IBM had to adopt ASCII eventually and the EBCDIC peripheral market, if it still exists, is nowhere near the ASCII in terms of marketshare.

OMG I am telling the whole world, how old I am. People think I am posting it while waiting for Social security checks at the post office!!!

Re:Not so sure... (3, Insightful)

LMacG (118321) | about 7 years ago | (#20658177)

Interchange Code. But thanks for the chuckle, fellow old guy.

Re:Not so sure... (1, Redundant)

SoulDad570 (907759) | about 7 years ago | (#20652187)

For example, Apple has taken some marketshare away from Powerpoint with Keynote (insofar as I've seen people using it instead of MS Office), but only because they have a captive market to sell to.

Huh? In what way does Apple have a captive market? Mac users have choices; MS Office 2004, NeoOffice, OpenOffice, or Keynote. I personally used Office 2004 for several years. I chose to buy iWork 08 because it's a great applications suite! Now I find myself using it almost exclusively.

Mac users are a discerning lot. We are not forced into anything.

Ciao,

Rick

Re:Not so sure... (1)

morcheeba (260908) | about 7 years ago | (#20652603)

I'm a big fan of keynote.. it just blows the doors off of powerpoint. My favorite feature is the ability to cut the subject out of a picture so that you don't have a distracting background (example [maushammer.com] ). Apple isn't really selling in to a captive market -- I also own powerpoint for the mac and windows.

Re:Not so sure... (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 7 years ago | (#20652723)

It doesn't actually have to dethrone powerpoint to be useful. I was extremely critical of Google Spreadsheet when it was first introduced. And for a lot of good reasons. But Google worked hard to improve it to the point where it was a usable platform. It still fails to replace Excel for all uses, but I've found that it makes a good collaboration tool over large distances. If there's some sort of project information, for example, that needs to be tracked, Google Spreadsheets works in a pinch.

I can see Google Presenter working the same. Have a phone meeting with important clients? Upload the Powerpoint presentation and email them the link. The remote office should be able to follow along with you. Possibly from their individual desks or from conference rooms with projectors.

That being said, I hope that Google takes this beyond PowerPoint's level of competence. Powerpoint is not that great of a tool to begin with and could stand quite a bit of improvement. Especially in the area of conveying information in a more elegant fashion.

Ask Microsoft About it. Re:Not so sure... (1)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#20652765)

Office has a lot of momentum and it will be hard to dethrone it or even steal away just a bit of marketshare unless Google finds a strong way to leverage their position to encourage people to use it.

Microsoft thinks that one in three SMB is interested in things like this [slashdot.org] . I found that information with a Google search [slashdot.org] , following the hunch that more traditional sharing methods confuse users and ends up leaking information that you would rather keep to yourself.

phone-targeted wed site? (1)

headqtrs (467875) | about 7 years ago | (#20651627)

Is that a wedding where phones are thrown instead of rice? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:phone-targeted wed site? (2, Funny)

Hanners1979 (959741) | about 7 years ago | (#20651667)

Probably a Slashdot wedding, where iPhones are thrown instead of confetti.

Wait, did I say a Slashdot wedding? Who am I kidding...

Re:phone-targeted wed site? (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | about 7 years ago | (#20652549)

Probably a Slashdot wedding, where iPhones are thrown instead of confetti.

Wait, did I say a Slashdot wedding? Who am I kidding...

No, you're right. If someone on Slashdot is getting married, it must be because they're super-rich, and therefore they would be able to afford to throw iPhones around like confetti at the wedding.

-:sigma.SB

Press release and repercussions of Mobile AdSense (0, Offtopic)

Rudd-O (20139) | about 7 years ago | (#20651753)

Since my story didn't get posted, I'll just paste its text here ;-)

"Hours ago, Google announced the launch of AdSense for Mobile [google.com] , an advertising service in its own class, targeted to mobile users. I took it upon myself to write up a cursory look into the implications of this new class of service, asking myself if it will change the Web advertising landscape [rudd-o.com] ."

oops our server made a booboo (1, Funny)

wwmedia (950346) | about 7 years ago | (#20651785)

it looks good but..

imagine yourself at a presentation in front of your bosses and network dies or google returns an error "oops our server made a booboo"

that would be fairly embarrassing

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#20651853)

Anyone who uses a tool that says beta [google.com] on the page for a big presentation deserves what s/he gets ...

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | about 7 years ago | (#20651869)

Exactly - this brings the worst of both "web applications" and trying to get a decent screen size on a cell phone.

This sort of thing sure isn't going to convince me to join the collective.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

bockelboy (824282) | about 7 years ago | (#20651903)

Indeed. The last thing I want to do is rely on an online tool for a presentation. I've taken to having a copy on CD, thumb drive, laptop, and online. Sometimes two or three of those methods fail before one works. Google needs to kick their offline tools for Google Docs into high gear. It's come in 6 months, I bet.

On the other hand, imagine doing a quick, informal presentation. Prefix it with "please follow along at this URL". Not all companies have WebEx up and going. Not all MBAs know how to upload a file to a FTP server. Even the smallest small business can now host a webinar using this tool - without having any techie knowledge at all.

It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

haystor (102186) | about 7 years ago | (#20652635)

I'm loving google docs. I write something up and send a link ad someone can see it if they have a browser. Sharing is greatly simplified over the, "who has the latest version of the document" chaos that is all too frequent. I'm not one to make a presentation, but I could see doing that for how to install or use something, or maybe a quick overview.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20652095)

that would be fairly embarrassing
More so than "oops, Windows made a booboo"?

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | about 7 years ago | (#20652431)

Its an issue of how many points of failure you have. If you use powerpoint you have:
* Your computer failing
* The projector failing
* Windows crashing

If you use Google Docs you have:
* Your computer failing
* The projector failing
* Your internet connection failing
* Google's servers failing (this does happen from time to time for Google Docs and Gmail).
* Windows crashing

As you can see there are two additional points of failure when using Google Docs.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

mhazen (144368) | about 7 years ago | (#20653211)

Its an issue of how many points of failure you have. If you use powerpoint you have:
* Your computer failing
* The projector failing
* Windows crashing
You forgot this:

* Microsoft Office crashing

Now, let's say instead of relying on the OS and applications to work, I'm using a LiveCD on a USB key. Now, we've removed the OS and software failing options, and the lists look more like this:

* Your computer failing
* The projector failing
* Microsoft Office crashing
* Windows crashing

If you use Google Docs and a bootable OS on a USB key you have:

* Your computer failing (easily replaced with another generic machine)
* The projector failing
* Your internet connection failing
* Google's servers failing (this does happen from time to time for Google Docs and Gmail).

Looks pretty even to me, except I have seen far fewer Google crashes or significant network downtime than I have MS Office crashing or Windows crashing. I'd say Google wins.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | about 7 years ago | (#20662279)

I have seen far fewer Google crashes or significant network downtime than I have MS Office crashing or Windows crashing. I'd say Google wins.
Wow. I can't remember the last time Office or Windows crashed. So either you haven't used XP and Office 2003 or you're trolling.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (1)

jstomel (985001) | about 7 years ago | (#20652343)

it looks good but.. imagine yourself at a presentation in front of your bosses and network dies or google returns an error "oops our server made a booboo" that would be fairly embarrassing/

Right, because that never happens using microsoft products. They are so stable that they never go down during big meetings.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20653635)

Sadly, that does make a big difference.

Try this: go to a big meeting, have the presentation fail. Tell your boss you are having trouble with powerpoint and everyone will start going "Ah, yeah," "hey, try this," etc.

Now do a presentation that fails with anything other than powerpoint. Tell your boss you can't get "App X" to work and everyone will be angry at you.

Microsoft software just has the built in excuse that everyone has seen it fail. When it does Microsoft (rightly) get the blame. For some reason everyone blames *you* if anything other than MS software fails.

Re:oops our server made a booboo (2, Insightful)

pagaboy (1029878) | about 7 years ago | (#20653731)

It looks to me like where this is really useful is in preparing the presentation. Rather than having to email versions around the office, forgetting which is the current one, all those involved can just edit it online.

As for doing a presentation, Firefox 3 should allow this app to work offline. That's when it gets interesting, and web connections are no longer an issue.

Example is reasonably impressive (2, Informative)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | about 7 years ago | (#20651847)

If you don't want to RTFA about the presentation app, the example presentation [google.com] is still reasonably worth checking out. It's impressively like viewing a PowerPoint doc in a browser. The ability to easily publish on the web like this is kinda neat, and the source code of the presentation is surprisingly tidy.

Open Office does better. (1)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#20652207)

It's impressively like viewing a PowerPoint doc in a browser. The ability to easily publish on the web like this is kinda neat, and the source code of the presentation is surprisingly tidy.

It's not bad, but did not work in a more locked down browser, and that source code is only tidy if you are used to PowerPoint. Open Office exports to normal html with frames that work anywhere and has robot code that's less cluttered. This will be easier for most people, however, and it's nice to see.

The problem for most businesses, however, seems to be keeping those stupid ppt file OFF the internet. This search [google.com] , for example, turns up 367 results. I can promise you that more than one of those results is a complete screw up. Separating the places that are for sharing and those that are for normal storage is good practice. Google's service will be easier to understand than many others and will result in fewer accidents.

Ha ha, M$ Makes the Case for this Service. (1)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#20652451)

One of the funniest things the search above turned up is this presentation [microsoft.com] where M$ makes the case for Software as a Service in late 2005. 30% of SMB are likely to consider "Private web areas with advanced tools for collaboration amongst employees and business partners." I've got bad news for them - Google's work anywhere, someone else does all the work system is far more attractive. Thank you, James Murfin, for an entertaining read.

Re:Ha ha, M$ Makes the Case for this Service. (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 7 years ago | (#20654411)

So, Google released something that Microsoft thinks is a good idea... where's the humour?

Re:Ha ha, M$ Makes the Case for this Service. (1)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#20655155)

There are several things that are funny about this. Microsoft thinks that it's a good idea to have a "secure" area to collaborate, but can't keep the "confidential" report to themselves. They have yet to deliver such a thing despite their tremendous head start and ubiquity. At the same time, their reps are pushing out tripe about how great Office 2007 is and what a bad idea Google services are.

Try again (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 7 years ago | (#20662483)

They've been pushing this idea for years, twitter. It's not a big secret. My company demands that all the internal documents are marked as "confidential" even if they contain the cafeteria menu for the week. Ooooh, there are PPTs from Microsoft marked confidential on teh internets. You're so clever.

Re:Example is reasonably impressive (1)

skiflyer (716312) | about 7 years ago | (#20654097)

Just me or is there no way to jump around the presentation? Or for that matter even go back a slide if you missed a slide.

Re:Example is reasonably impressive (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 7 years ago | (#20654245)

Try the arrow keys ;)

Re:Example is reasonably impressive (1)

skiflyer (716312) | about 7 years ago | (#20654299)

Clever! I was thinking like a web page and trying the back buttons or the context menu. Thanks.

Apps that you can access anywhere... (2, Insightful)

TofuMatt (1105351) | about 7 years ago | (#20651879)

... isn't that why I own a notebook in addition to my desktop machine?

Seriously, why would I want to use anything short of Keynote wherever I am?

The mobile ads are kind of cool though; I imagine with the advent of Safari on the iPod, we'll be seeing a tonne of mobile versions of things we love now.

adblocker (1)

wwmedia (950346) | about 7 years ago | (#20651901)

at 0.49EUR a MB here in ireland with 3G operator three.ie i hope theres an adblocker available

too risky, no multi-display presenter tools (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 7 years ago | (#20651933)

Google has finally launched their online presentation tool to complete its office offerings at Google Docs."

Why this will never take off:

First- no presenter in their right mind wants to rely on the internet to deliver a presentation. We tell people to have a copy ready on at LEAST one other kind of media, especially if they're giving a big talk. I know people who spread important presentations across multiple media, which is spread across their luggage when traveling. Ie, the presentation is on their USB key in their pocket, but also on a CD in case the key is broken (for example, maybe the plane ride is bumpy and the seatbelt causes the drive's connector to snap off.) We even have them put it on their webmail account in case they lose *everything* for some reason.

But...do the presentation requiring second-to-second internet access to work? Bwahahahahahaahaa.

Second- even if you can export it (for example, as a PDF), very few if any PDF viewers support dual-monitor layout. Powerpoint and Keynote, the biggest presentation tools, both support a "presenter display" on the second monitor; you can see things like a preview of the next slide, a presentation timer+clock, your notes for the current slide- or all of the above.

Re:too risky, no multi-display presenter tools (1)

tendays (890391) | about 7 years ago | (#20652099)

No presenter in their right mind wants to rely on the internet to deliver a presentation.
I was thinking the same about web based apps, that no one would want to rely on the internet to be able to read/write his documents. I guess very few people are "in their right minds" :-(

Re:too risky, no multi-display presenter tools (2, Informative)

Kristoffer Lunden (800757) | about 7 years ago | (#20653107)

About the first point - assuming there is nothing wrong with how the presentation looks and works so it's a fair replacement in that area - Google Gears combined with exporting.

About the second point, you are absolutely correct - when it comes to that small small subset of people who actually use that functionality. I've seen it demonstrated but can't remember one single live occasion when someone has actually used it. Usually the presenter stands in the middle in front of the presentation and if he/she needs to sync the talk they just glance over their shoulder. Many even make a show of pointing to stuff on the big screen while they do the talk. Oh, I'm sure it is used, and you can cite multiple occasions, but I don't see that as a common case.

Re:too risky, no multi-display presenter tools (1)

filterban (916724) | about 7 years ago | (#20653689)

First- no presenter in their right mind wants to rely on the internet to deliver a presentation.

Did you RTFA? They allow you to save the presentation so that it will work offline. You can then burn it to as many DVDs/CDs/USB Sticks/NAS boxes/SATA Hard Drives/MiniDiscs as you like.

In fact, I'd argue that it was more reliable than using PowerPoint, if only because you are only relying on a web browser being installed on a computer for it to work. That means that ANY laptop made in the last seven years will be able to view your presentation out of the box (except a Mac, which will need Firefox) and so you won't have to worry about finding a laptop with PowerPoint installed in order to get it to work.

Re:too risky, no multi-display presenter tools (1)

PHPfanboy (841183) | about 7 years ago | (#20657615)

I wonder how many people find themselves doing more internet-based presentations (on conf. calls) then standing in front of crowds (trad. presentations)?

We're an international company with a number of offices and customers all over the place - I think this would be great for that, replacing Webex as someone mentioned above.

Presentations done, can we have word processing? (0, Offtopic)

metamatic (202216) | about 7 years ago | (#20652067)

Now that Google have got a Presentations module, I hope they'll go back and make the word processor usable.

Right now it doesn't have proper support for paragraph breaks, which makes it utterly useless for serious word processing.

Google Microsoft (2, Interesting)

fatnicky (991652) | about 7 years ago | (#20652073)

This is a great utility because it allows true ultra-portability. As an admin, I can tell you that roughly 1 of 2 executives leave without a presentation. Having this available is great!

Relatedly? (1)

Dani Filth (677047) | about 7 years ago | (#20652285)

WTF is relatedly? That's a douche word [wired.com] .

Still not complete (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20652383)

If Google (and OO) wants to complete it, then they need project management AND visio clones. Until then, the MS world will still have the upper hand.

Re:Still not complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20652649)

OOo has visio covered, imo:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org_Draw [wikipedia.org]

Re:Still not complete (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20654077)

Draw is not the same as visio. More importantly, it does not read and write the format.

Of limited use. (1)

Dzimas (547818) | about 7 years ago | (#20652429)

There are many cases when an online presentation won't cut it. I've often found myself without a network connection when visiting a potential client, especially when dealing with large corporations. I've also found that the network drop in boardrooms seems to have befriended Schroedinger's Cat - sometimes it's there, sometimes it isn't. Wireless may or may not be an issue, depending on the organization. And I've been in several secure nuclear facilities where the mere mention of a wireless network makes everyone start twitching and glancing nervously at the walls. I can only imagine the rectal probing I'd get for asking them for a network connection so I could run an online presentation app.

Voce recognition? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | about 7 years ago | (#20652503)

Chuck in some voice recognition and you could have ads displayed that relate to your conversation. That would be cool.

Safari Support (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 7 years ago | (#20652647)

Another Google Beta is the upcoming Safari support for it. It's been about a year now I recon.

"Safari support for Google Docs is coming soon!"

Re:Safari Support (1)

k1980pc (942645) | about 7 years ago | (#20654435)

I am on safari and I am able to access Google docs. This is on Safari 3 Beta for mac.. no changes to user agent.

Re:Safari Support (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 7 years ago | (#20657313)

I am on safari and I am able to access Google docs. This is on Safari 3 Beta for mac.. no changes to user agent.

Try editing text in the presentation. It doesn't work in the Safari 3 Beta. If you click the undo button it complains your browser is not supported. Sadly, it s not even usable yet for Safari.

Offline backups (2, Informative)

teslatug (543527) | about 7 years ago | (#20653167)

Google really needs to offer an easy way to do offline backups. Right now I use their POP3 functionality to back up my emails, but this is a manual process. And the only way to save these documents is to do so one by one. They need a desktop client to synchronize an offline copy. Maybe a Firefox extension (though their Google Sync extension is pretty badly implemented as it loses bookmarks all the time for me) or maybe some Java app (so as to be cross platform), but either way there is no way I would use Google Docs without being able to easily have my documents. What happens if Google Docs is unavailable, Google decides to close it, or I just plainly want to migrate off of it? If I had thousands of documents stored there I would find myself in a really painful situation.

It can already be done! (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 7 years ago | (#20656901)

There is a way, using Firefox and Greasemonkey (I haven't tried it myself though):

Backup Google Apps Documents [lifehacker.com]

well there's very little chance it could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20653293)

than powerpoint.

GREAT (1)

kurtis25 (909650) | about 7 years ago | (#20653923)

I like this. I'm going to use it more than PowerPoint and I will force most of my co-workers to do the same. Why you ask? Because most of the PowerPoint slide-shows I'm forced to look at aren't live. I'm sent a training show and have to download it then watch it or try to get that plug in to work. With this I can simply open up IE and watch the show. No download, no extra plug in. No annoying I don't have the correct version of PP to watch the show just a simple show. You my coworkers train by making and sending power-point presentations. We never know if we have the newest version or if it will work on every ones computers.

Re:GREAT (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 years ago | (#20655261)

I bought a PP to Flash converter for 100 bucks that I dump any PP that needs to viewed online through. Its simple. It works. Everybody can view it. Occasionally the formatting gets munged a bit, but I can live with that.

Fake War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20654355)

Google may be trying to create alternatives to Microsoft Office but its biggest payback looks like it's tying itself in with the Microsoft name. This puts it on the top table, making it look big and important, and on the side of the "little guy". Google are a marketing led company and weren't born yesterday. A real war between Microsoft and Google would bring both of them down but it gets you guys rooting for it like supporters of some sports company listed on the stockmarket. You're just pawns in a bigger game and being played like a fiddle.

Yahoo!!! (1)

cmacb (547347) | about 7 years ago | (#20655029)

errr...

or something.

This video combined with this new functionality I think should serve as a wake-up to the vast number of people doing dumb things with computers... using an electronic system that mimicked a paper system, keeping all the disadvantages and missing all the advantages of new technology. It was of course in Microsoft's (and others) best interest to keep us going down this wrong path for as long as possible. Hopefully those days are finally ending.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA [youtube.com]

WTF? (2, Insightful)

temcat (873475) | about 7 years ago | (#20655617)

With the introduction of Google Presentation, now you can collaborate a presentation online.

When did the verb "collaborate" become transitional?

Haha, I'm a loser (2, Informative)

temcat (873475) | about 7 years ago | (#20655683)

transitional -> transitive

Online collaborations (3, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | about 7 years ago | (#20656657)

A large number of the complaints on this thread seem to amount to "I would never trust the internet for a presentation! Give me my trusty laptop any day!" I think these folks are missing the point of this product.

I work on a scientific collaboration that spans several institutions across the country. We use weekly teleconferences for specialized subgroups and occasional online meetings of the whole group to keep coordinated on what each other are doing. For these occasions we're always dealing with distributing presentations over the internet in a reasonable way. We usually post PDFs or HTML on the web, but we've had problems in the past with our own servers going down during telecons. We're also often editing our talks at the last minute, and we can have problems where someone downloads their PDFs before one of us posts his or her last changes.

For collaborations like ours this is a very intriguing product. I trust Google's servers more than my group's, to be honest, and we can always post backups on our own server. A consistent-looking presentation that I could easily edit right up to the last minute (or even collaboratively) is appealing. I grant that there are other solutions which may be better in some cases and that I'd probably never use this for a conference talk, but it's still intriguing for groups in our situation.

Re:Online collaborations (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | about 7 years ago | (#20660033)

Exactly. This is a tool for the working model of a project, not its final version.

I don't do a whole lot of collaborative work, but I do really like GoogleDocs. I can write and edit my papers wherever I can find an internet connection (which is everywhere, as I live at a University). I do final formatting and page layout in other software, but for actually writing the stuff, I love GoogleDocs. One of the best features they have is a wikipedia-esque revision history, so you can see who edited what document when, and exactly what changes were made.

Consitently crashes (1)

IANAAC (692242) | about 7 years ago | (#20657561)

With Firefox 2.0.0.5 on SUSE 10.2.

Not yet ready for prime time, but it's nice to see they're adding more functionality.

Powerpoint Competition !?!?! (2, Funny)

Vulcann (752521) | about 7 years ago | (#20662869)

Is it just me or did someone else read that as a "Google Powerpoint Competition". For a second there I lost all respect for Google thinking they were hosting a contest on who can make the prettiest set of slides :D.
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