Mountain View (CA) - Google has launched a beta version of Presentations, a Web-based clone of Microsoft Powerpoint.Adding to its slate of Web-based applications, Google Presentations allows users to create slideshows and share them with the world or with a defined set of contacts. It can also be used as a free, basic alternative to Microsoft Powerpoint, allowing users to block any outside access to their documents.
Users can also present the slideshows live to a group of people, complete with a chat box for comments during the presentation. Like other Google Apps, files created on Presentations carry a complete history of modifications made and the people who made the respective changes. Users can also send the file to someone via a one-click e-mail button, automatically giving them access to the presentation.
Google Presentations has many of the same basic elements as Microsoft Powerpoint. It contains a set of slide layouts and designs, as well as a complete palette of text editing options. The major component not in the initial release of the new Google app is animation. There are no image fly-in features or slide transition effects.
The Google Docs suite also includes Spreadsheets and Documents, respective clones of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. The online giant claims that millions of people have created at least one document in the Google Docs package.
Another collaboration-based Web app is Google Calendar, which lets users share their schedules with each other by pointing their browser to a unique HTML address.
The presentation application is available now at docs.google.com.