Today is not a good day for Microsoft Office. Google released their underwhelming-yet-much-anticipated PowerPoint killer today, Presently. I checked it out but it doesn't hold a candle to SlideRocket (ZDNet Gallery), a presentation application built by Mitch Grasso using Flex and Amazon's S3. One of the reasons that I like SlideRocket is because it not only has a great interface but it also allows you to create very rich presentations. That's one of the reasons I've been so excited to see what Electric Rain is doing with StandOut.
SlideRocket has all of your typical slide show features but also incorporates things that Flash does really well. You can embed a Flash object right into a presentation to add some rich animation or transition. The charting features of SlideRocket are also very impressive because they're using the Charting components from Flex. You can quickly and easily embed very meaningful data visualization assets into your slides. Because it's Flash, you can embed Flash video into your presentations and also embed the finished presentation into a blog or other page to tap into the viral element.
You can keep assets in a library as well as pull them from outside, web based sources like Flickr. There's also a budding plugin feature so developers can add packaged functionality to the slides. The only plugin available right now is a quote plugin that lets you search for quotes and add them to your presentation. I think this could end up being a great feature as the product grows. Since SlideRocket is built on Flex, they created an AIR version for it that allows you to work with and view your presentations online.
The company is a small startup that has been working on the application for a little over a year. They plan some enterprise features including Salesforce integration, versioning and statistics tracking in the near future. Currently you can do a couple of helpful things including slide-level sharing across presentations which allow you to have a central side that can be updated for everyone using it; a great feature for updating statistics. This is a very, very powerful application and it looks even better when compared to what's on the market now. It's currently in private beta but with a release planned around November.