As with most discussions of 365 vs Google Apps, it largely boils down to what you’re looking for. Broadly speaking, PowerPoint has more features, templates, and all around doodads than Google will likely ever offer. As with their other online tools, Google Presentations is focused on a stripped-down, “only what you need” approach similar to Apple’s design school.
In particular, Apps falls down when it comes to compatibility with Microsoft products. Google Presentation has earned a reputation as “where Powerpoints get mangled,” and it’s largely true in our experience. Rarely, if ever, will a PPT uploaded to Google emerge unharmed. Many will require reformating, and some get broken beyond repair.
Despite this, there are a few unique and compelling features that make Google Presentation an interesting tool in its own right…
Benefits In Google Presentation Over PowerPoint
1 – Collaboration
Google continues to lead the field in online collaboration and invisible multiuser access. Presentation seamlessly updates documents with changes within a couple seconds, and makes it simple for distributed workers to all work on the same slideshow together without any file access problems.
2 – Device Compatibility
Microsoft isn’t known for being terribly friendly towards non-MS systems, although this has changed somewhat with their recent release of an iOS Office app for Apple devices. However, Google is still the clear winner here, because of their focus on keeping tools online. Even on esoteric systems like Linux boxes, Google Presentation works perfectly with nearly identical interfaces on any given device.
As such, it may be a better fit for an operation whose employees or clients are on a wide range of hardware and compatibility problems would otherwise be a concern.
You can insert YouTube videos directly into Google Presentations, which is a feature Microsoft doesn’t currently offer with any video service. For that matter, most content from Google-owned services can make it into Google Apps seamlessly. This may make it easier for companies to build truly multimedia presentations that cross-link to other content they’ve produced.
4 – Online Slideshow Presentations
Google’s web viewer is much faster, smoother, and generally nicer to use than Microsoft’s. You might not be able to deploy so many fancy effects and transitions, but a Google Presentations slideshow will run much better for everyday users just trying to view it.
Then again, if your focus is sharing slideshows, SlideShare.net might be better than either other option…
Google Presentation: Getting What You Pay For
Of course, the other elephant in the room is the price: Google Apps is free in many situations, and certainly costs less than Microsoft products in any implementation. So, if you need a lightweight slideshow app with great online accessibility, Google Presentation will do the trick. If you need a wider range of features, or expect to edit existing PPT files, stick to PowerPoint.
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