The official Powerpoint 2010 blog today made an exciting announcement regarding how Powerpoint will handle video in the future. Here’s a screenshot below (I’ve added the red underline to draw your attention to the money quote, click to enlarge):
Because Powerpoint 2010 will take advantage of hardware acceleration and DirectX9.0, you no longer need to use auxiliary software like Windows Media Player to play videos on a slide. If you’re a Apple Keynote user, you’ll know that since it was released in 2003, seven years ago, it’s had superb video handling capabilities even on old G4 Powerbooks. It’s because Steve Jobs wanted it to have “cinematic” properties, in addition to very fine text rendering.
In 2006, shortly after Keynote 3 was released, and when Powerpoint 2003 was still the current version, I created a Keynote slide for a presentation I was giving to challenge Powerpoint’s dominance of the presentation market place. I was particularly enamoured of Keynote’s video handling abilities while Powerpoint struggled with it, keeping its users from truly becoming creative and keeping them to awfully pixelated images and multi-step complicated management of video placement on slides (as the Powerpoint blog states above).
The video below is one I created today using that old 2006 Keynote 3 slide, playing in Keynote 5 on my MacBook Pro (2008). As I explain, you’ll see nine videos with sound playing simultaneously, all on the one slide, all timed to come in one after the other automatically. The video is a little on the dark side because I’m using a data projector to show the Keynote slide, while simultaneously using the Macbook Pro’s built-in iSight camera to create a Quicktime Pro movie (actually an mp4). So the poor Macbook’s doing double time!
So while the Powerpoint crowd can whoop it up today (and it really is an important change for that crowd and hopefully means we’ll see more creativity emerge from the average user), those in the Keynote community will be looking forward to update announcements for Keynote to be made very soon, truly making it the presentation software of choice for those who value creativity in their presenting.
(Before you watch the video below, keep in mind I created it to be watched in YouTube so I give an introduction first. The money shot starts around 4’20” in after I setup verbally what I’m doing and why!)