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SlideRocket’s New Interactive Features: Powerful, Not PowerPoint-esque

Of all the classic productivity tools that have made their way onto the Web, presentations may be the most immature. Most contenders pretty much try to replicate the basics of PowerPoint in the browser, including Google Docs, Zoho Show, and Microsoft’s own PowerPoint Web App. It’s not easy–PowerPoint-like fancy graphics and interactivity are tough to achieve, especially if you’re doing so using only HTML and AJAX techniques.

End result: None of the aforementioned Web-based PowerPoint rivals are anywhere near as good as PowerPoint. I can’t imagine anyone who’s very serious about presentations using any of them full-time.

But what if replicating PowerPoint wasn’t really the idea? Enter SlideRocket, a Web-based presentation service that provides many (though not all) of PowerPoint’s core tools but really focuses on collaborative, Web-based communications that go beyond anything offered by Microsoft. (For instance, it has a media manager that lets a company update images across all the presentations in all its presentations instantly–for instance, if its logo changes.)

SlideRocket does its thing using an interface built in Flash, which lets it deliver an exceptionally rich interface and set of features. It’s one of the slickest, most ambitious productivity apps you’ll ever see in your browser–and it’s easy to learn and use even though its look and feel owe little to PowerPoint. It’s releasing a new version today that takes the whole service in an even more interesting, less PowerPoint-esque direction.

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