PowerPoint 2010: Broadcasting presentations over the web

PowerPoint 2010 includes a presentation broadcasting feature, allowing users to present to as many people as they want over the web,

I hate to rant and rave about the good things coming out of Redmond but as it is dissertation and research season, the one thing most students have to deal with is presentations. That, by means of presentations, means creating and giving PowerPoint's because there's no other viable way of doing them in this day and age.

Nearly a year ago, Adobe produced their "PowerPoint for the web" software, which will soon be negated by Microsoft's in-built presentation broadcast feature in PowerPoint 2010. Though there is no real use for one-to-one broadcasts, this is a new way lecturers and teachers can give presentations and lectures to students over the web with no extensive technology needed.

Here's how it works.

You start off by creating or opening a PowerPoint in Office 2010, and hit the Slide Show tab just as if you were giving the presentation. Instead of running with the presentation, hit Broadcast Slide Show.

A naff box appears where it tells you what the broadcast does. Just hit Start Broadcast. You may have to enter in your Windows Live ID username and password, but if you have a Live@edu account, you can use your university email address and password.

PowerPoint will upload your presentation to the web and generate a backend code for you to share with others, to allow them to view the presentation in their web browser.

Nothing massive changes in the client side presentation view, except the presentation you are working on becomes read-only so no changes can be made (which means, you have to make sure your presentation is perfect upon broadcasting), and a Broadcast tab appears.

At this point, until you begin the slide show, viewers of the presentation cannot see anything, except a message on screen that the presentation has yet to start.

But once you start the presentation, they see what you do.

It's good to see Microsoft taking advantage of the cloud based platform it has created with Office Web Apps and the integration of SkyDrive. I can certainly see this going forward to bigger and better things, such as giving remote lectures, but provided voice technology becomes integrated as standard, this could be seen as a mere gimmick.

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