Desktop software programs are slowly dying and being replaced by web
programs as the world moves to "the cloud" (the net). The best example
programs such as Eudora and Outlook
which are being replaced by Gmail and Yahoo Mail. But now another type
of desktop software is starting to make the shift, productivity
software. Programs like MS Word and MS Powerpoint will soon
be replaced by browser driven programs. Through use of AJAX technology
these web programs have the same level of responsiveness, no up
front cost, availability from any computer with net access, and an
expanding feature set. These advantages are hard to ignore.
As you may know, I have a startup company called Ajax13. A few months
ago we were hard at work putting out lots of lightweight programs but
we quickly made a strategic shift. We instead decided to focus
on building the most advanced AJAX
based program, ajaxPresents,
demonstrate that there's no limit to the future of
web delivered programs. Our target was the ubiquitous (and expensive)
presentation program Microsoft Powerpoint. What makes this program
challenging is that it combines text and graphical elements. It's
relatively easy to create a graphics only AJAX program (think Google
Maps) or text only (think ajaxWrite
or Writely). But, mixing the
two is uncharted territory for AJAX which is why even heavily
staffed Google hasn't added charting to Google Spreadsheet. Creating a
capable presentation program means combining graphics (backgrounds,
lines, arrows, figures, etc.) with text (titles, block, rotated text)
and being able to import and save to the proprietary Microsoft
Powerpoint format (ppt).
Today we're launching the beta of ajaxPresents
with 1gb of free storage. This means you can store all your documents
online, safely and securely. It's a program that can create,
share, or open
existing ppt files for viewing and/or editing. There's no charge for
the use of
this software and it loads in about 5 seconds from a Firefox browser
any Linux/Mac/MS Win computer. It has
all the features you've come to expect in a presentation program
(master slides, thumbnails, slide sorter, text, graphics, importing
images, etc.), but advanced features like animations and transitions
absent. This beta version is ideal for anyone who needs to create
straightforward presentations, or open and make minor edits to existing
Microsoft Powerpoint presentations. Also, because it's web based, there
are other interesting ways to use this versatile application.
Ways To Experience ajaxPresents
Go to ajaxPresents.com
and click the
application icon anytime you
need to create a presentation.
You'll immediately have a presentation program at your fingertips. When
the application opens, a
sample document will appear so you can explore the
features of ajaxPresents. Using the File: Open or Save menu items you
can quickly gain
access to your personal and private 1 gb storage area to upload
existing files or save any files you create. Since you can access
ajaxPresents from any computer, you can now work on your files from
Hint: Hitting F-11 in Firefox will turn on full screen mode so when you
view a Slide Show it will use the entire screen.
To publish a Microsoft Powerpoint file or to quickly see how well
one will work with ajaxPresents, send an email to
(replace -at- with @ symbol) with the
presentation as an attachment.
With one email message you can immediately publish a presentation file.
Your email will be processed and the presentation will be extracted and
placed on the web. A URL will immediately be sent back to you which
will take you to your presentation. Once there you can view the
document or edit it. It's a great way to insure that you have a
network accessible copy of that important presentation so if your
laptop or thumb drive fails you, any computer can view the
presentation regardless of the software installed. You can also send
the URL to others who can view the presentation, share it with others,
download it, or even
make edits on their own copy.
To open any presentation you encounter on the net, just use this URL:
There are many Microsoft Powerpoint, StarOffice and OpenOffice.org
presentations on the Internet. Google even offers a search option to
find such files (just add file type ppt to any search and Google will
dutifully return a list of Powerpoint files). Normally you can only
view crude text renderings of these files via Google. But, using the
above, you can paste the location of the file after the = sign and
immediately view any presentation file on the Internet. Search engines
can now display the entire contents of a presentation file, all from a
web page. Information sites can make their files viewable by all,
regardless of whatever desktop software they might have installed. End
users can manually assemble URLs to open any presentation file they
I hope you'll give ajaxPresents
a try and give us your feedback. It's
ideal for the casual presentation user regardless of whether you're on
a Macintosh, Microsoft Windows or Linux computer.
Q: Why does it require Firefox 1.5+?
A: ajaxPresents takes advantage of many cutting edge technologies in
the browser such as SVG. Unfortunately that is not present in all
so creating versions of ajaxPresents for Internet Explorer and Opera
takes some time. However, we are working on both.
Q: Can an Internet Explorer user view a presentation via PublishPPT?
A: We expect to add viewing, but not editing capabilities before the
end of the year for Internet Explorer users.
Q: How much storage comes with each ajax13 account?
A: 1 gb of free storage comes with each ajax13 account. Other types of
presentations can be stored in this account.
Q: Where can I provide feedback?
A: Visiting the forum
is a great place to share your experience.
Q: Does ajaxPresents support ODF (open document format)?
A: Yes. The internal format for ajaxPresents is the open document
format. We offer the ability to export to a .ppt file if documents need
to be shared with others.
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