Monday, 6 November 2017

The Powerpoint story

Presentation software overlord Powerpoint has a bad name in some quarters (not entirely undeserved), luckily i do not have to use it much in my everyday work though i did use it to create a presentation to accompany my nerve wracking micro-teach when i was training to become a teacher a few years ago (luckily skills and qualifications i have not had to make use of since)...

The genesis of Powerpoint is interesting however as this article details. Powerpoint was developed by a company set up by ex-Apple II and III engineers and came about almost by accident. The company, Forethought, had been trying to create an object orientated GUI for IBM PCs but were running out of cash and time and so needed to change their business plan and bring in some revenue. First they published FileMaker (still a popular Mac app) and later wrote Powerpoint, originally for the Mac only.

Powerpoint was an immediate success when it was released in April 1987. So much so that Microsoft bought the company just 3 months later! It took a few years for Powerpoint to see off its rivals in this area like Harvard Graphics but now it is the undisputed king of presentation software with an estimated 95% of the market!

Columbus' PowerPoint Presentation from David C. Brock on Vimeo.