I'm sure the bloggers will be chattering about this one this morning, especially the Ajax-centric blogs. Hats off to Google for another well done Ajax application. Google launched their Powerpoint equivalent in their Docs suite, which is getting closer and closer to providing a viable online replacement, or at least a supplement, to Microsoft Office.
Within a few minutes I was able to create a presentation and view it full screen with no visible difference to running a Powerpoint presentation, other than the nice collaboration feature built into the sidebar. I was then able to publish the presentation to be publicly available on the web - My first Google Presentation Their application seems to have the same type of theme as the rest of their Docs Applications, you're able to upload or email in an existing Powerpoint presentation, you're able to share with other Google docs users and collaborate on the creation of the presentation, you're also able to play the presentation in a collaborative environment. The application seems to be well built and extremely performant.
In addition to the new application, there's word of additional features, the UI for google's docs applications has consistently gotten better and better. I think Google provides a good example to the world of Ajax and Web 2.0 websites, progressive enhancement is definitely the way to go, get a good working and performing application in place first and then move on to enhancing the UI later. I've been very impressed with the quality of the applications Google has developed. I can't wait till Firefox 3 and offline applications, I'd love to see these application converted over to work offline, maybe they'll do something early with Google Gears, watch out Microsoft, it won't take Google 4 years to come out with a new version.
I just signed up for the standard Google Apps account, which is free, and I'm extremely impressed. Any small business stands to save tons of money if they only used it for the email service. All you need to have to sign up is your own domain name, and the ability to modify your MX records.
The standard service includes:
- Google Homepage
- Google Calendar
- Google Web Publishing
- Google Docs and Spreadsheets
- Google Talk
- Google Mail
Now all of these apps can be customized for your domain and your users, there's a Management application that allows you to set up new users and configure custom urls for all of these applications. I moved all of my email hosting over to Gmail, so now I have the greatest Ajax web application for email access to my domain email, along with the same POP client support I had with my host before. I had been using mail2web.com to access my pop account because of the non-existent web mail access at my host. Not to mention that my mail took away space from my hosting account limit.
I definitely think that Google has something here and it doesn't hurt to try it out, heck it's free, and I do love free. To get to the sign up go to http://www.google.com/a