UPDATED: Google Launches PowerPoint Killer, IBM Challenging Office

Microsoft, what on earth is taking you so long? UPDATE: Now IBM is chasing Microsoft’s Office suite as well, via a free offering dubbed Lotus Symphony, the NYT reports.

From Google Blog: In April we announced that we were working to bring presentations to Google Docs. (Astute readers may recall learning about this even earlier, which caused a bit of excitement around here.) And today we’re unveiling the new Google Docs presentations feature and invite you to try it at documents.google.com. Maybe more than any other type of document, presentations are created to be shared. But assembling slide decks by emailing them around is as frustrating as it is time-consuming. The new presentations feature of Google Docs helps you to easily organise, share, present, and collaborate on presentations, using only a web browser.

Starting today, presentations — whether imported from existing files or created using the new slide editor — are listed alongside documents and spreadsheets in the Google Docs document list. They can be edited, shared, and published using the familiar Google Docs interface, with several collaborators working on a slide deck simultaneously, in real time. When it’s time to present, participants can simply click a link to follow along as the presenter takes the audience through the slideshow. Participants are connected through Google Talk and can chat about the presentation as they’re watching. Not wanting anyone to feel left out, we’ve made the presentation feature available in 25 languages; Google Apps customers can also access it as part of Google Docs.

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