Google to Offer Online PowerPoint Rival

Even though Google continues to claim that its online productivity suite is not intended to compete with Microsoft's Office product, its latest addition is beginning to raise eyebrows.

The Mountain View, Calif. company disclosed Tuesday that it is about to release a presentation and slide show tool in the coming months. The product would join its word processing software, released last August, and its spreadsheet application, launched in October.

Technology acquired from its buy of Tonic Systems will be used in developing the new application, engineering director Sam Schillace, who said the company hopes to release the product by the summer.

Confirmation of the existence of an application came first from CEO Eric Schmidt during a presentation the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, when he revealed the slides were created on the product. But as before, he continued to deny that Google was attempting to compete with Microsoft and Office.

"We've already freed those of you working in teams from the burdens of version control and email attachment overload when going back and forth on word processing and spreadsheets," Schillace said. "It just made sense to add presentations to the mix."

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington said he expected the latest application to be added into an offering for small businesses by Google called "Google Apps for Your Domain." That offering already matches (if not exceeds) currently-offered services from Microsoft.

On Google's claims that the offering was not a threat to Microsoft, Arrington said that was "complete spin."

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