18 Sep

Act 3: Presently has arrived

Google announced yesterday that Presently is now available as part of their Web Office offering (now re-named ‘Google Docs’, again. I guess ‘Google Docs & Spreadsheets & Presentations’ seemed a little too long).

It comes with several realization:

1) There is very little people with whom to share geeky excitement; on the blogosphere, and elsewhere. There seems to be relatively little care for it. And all this after such a long wait.

It seems like much more is being said about IBM’s new Lotus Symphony. I mean, Symphony is a big deal (In essence, IBM is backing OpenOffice.org with a lot of resources; it is a big deal!), but where have all the Web 2.0 fans gone? Are you for real?

2) Microsoft is finally in for a ride. Probably nobody believed Eric Schmidt when he said that Google was not building a competitor for MS Office anyway. In Spanish, we refer to that kind of talk as telling a girl “Es sólo la puntita”, translating to “It will only be the tip”. Next thing you know, you are dealing with a pregnant teenager. But the future of ‘everything’ is on ‘the cloud’, using open standards, and Microsoft is quite far behind.

Of all the dumb criticism found all over the web of a product that is clearly a very early beta, the most interesting one is posted at Blogoscoped.

Now, after playing with it for a short while, this are my first suggestions for the future of Presently:

1) Do the odp filter, that would be nice, and much easier than the ppt. Ah, and release it as opensource! ;)
2) Export to odp (Didn’t you guys sign something with Sun?)
3) Make it easy to do/upload new themes (maybe I am too dumb, but I didn’t find it)

Finally, I wanted to note that the zip download reveals two things:

1) They definitely stuck internally with the name ‘Presently’
2) They seem to have been inspired by S5 a little (more research on that is due)

To the people complaining “It doesn’t have a ppt download option” I say: Does MS Office have a docs.google upload option? Ok, I am kidding. But we really need to support open, interoperable standards, and not expect to have everybody trying to reverse engineer the MS formats (Although I met some guys that really enjoy doing it)

Other resources covering the story are Google Operating System (this is the blog that first broke the news that Google was working on presently, and they are even referenced by the official blog now!), and TechCrunch, Read/WriteWeb, Wired, et al.

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