Pitch finds failings in PowerPoint


The people who brought us Wunderlist have now turned their sights on PowerPoint and hope to disrupt how we think of presentation software with Pitch. They’ve already identified two important failings in PowerPoint.

You’d think that between PowerPoint, Keynote (Apple) and Slides (Google) would have the whole presentation software market sewn up tight.  But upstarts like Slack have shown there a new ways to work and collaborate beyond what the ‘Big Three’ think are good for us.

Slack radically changed the way organizations work and forced Microsoft to develop Teams, though Redmond will never admit that.

Pitch is an upcoming new collaborative way to present.  It has impressive backing from the people who made Wunderlist (bought by Microsoft in 2015) and just received $19million in funding.

It’s hard to know what Pitch is about beyond the buzzwords like “express ideas” and “new paradigm”.

Two elements of the Pitch statement caught our eye as identifying key gaps in current PowerPoint

External Data

PowerPoint’s links to external data are very poor.  The best you can do is link from Excel but even then, it’s messy.

In Real Time Excel we explain how it can be done with examples (chapter: PowerPoint: Adding Live Data).  Though it’s described as “a messy kludge that we’re embarrassed to use, but have no choice given the available tools“. It’s quite different to linking Excel data into Word.

Refreshing live data from PowerPoint isn’t directly supported either.

If Pitch can show Microsoft better ways to manage live data in presentations we’ll be grateful.

Collaboration

PowerPoint has collaboration features but they are clumsy and slow.  Mostly because the multi-user features have been grafted into a long-standing product.

Again, it’ll be interesting to see what Pitch comes up with.  Even if you never use Pitch, it and other rivals are a major driver of improvements in Microsoft Office.


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