Google adds PowerPoint rival to office suite

Wants to challenge Microsoft Office

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Google is to extend its office suite with a presentation program to rival Microsoft PowerPoint. But will anyone dare to move over to using only web-based office applications?

Online search giant Google is looking to offer a complete web-based office suite, challenging the dominant Microsoft Office suite. It is already offering word processing and spreadsheet programs, so a presentation program was the next logical step.

So far, Google hasn't confirmed a launch of the presentation application. But there have been strong indications that it is looking to integrate the program - currently named Presently - into its Google Docs and Spreadsheets application, to create a collaborative Office suite.

Presently, which is likely to be called Google Presentations when it is released, has been developed by the same team that created the Google Docs word processor.

Who will use it?

It is safe to assume that Presentations will be a cleaner-looking version of Microsoft PowerPoint (compare Google's Docs and Spreadsheets , or Gmail ). But who will be using it?

The advantage of web-based documents and spreadsheets is that they can be collaboratively edited by colleagues without the need of sending large email attachments. The main drawback is that without an internet connection, the files can't be accessed.

Many companies are sceptical of web-based services, and are especially cautious of saving files outside the company's own servers. So it remains to be seen whether Google's office suite can challenge Microsoft Office.