Google is definitely one of those companies which knows its users — or at least its actions tells us so. Today, they quietly rolled out a neat new feature — whenever you receive a PowerPoint file, you’ll now see a “View as slideshow” link, which will take you to a Flash-based version of the slide. Business users and PowerPoint collaborators alike, no more clicking-downloading-cringing-waiting-for-powerpoint-to-load.
The addition of this feature most probably comes from their acquisition of online presentation startup TonicSystems, and is the first sign of an actual Presentation app in Google’s line up of products for the office. Most Gmail users must have noticed they’ve long had the ability to preview Word documents and spreadsheets, so this doesn’t come off as a surprise.
As Sergey Brin commented the other day, Google’s built up a strong foundation of products (especially marked ‘beta’), and real growth for them now depends on a feature-by-feature basis. They recently added StreetView to Google Maps and it seems there’s never a single moment where one of their feature additions isn’t making news.
It’d be interesting to see how they tackle the web-based presentation market and how it couples up with some of the other options out there.