I stumbled on this post on the Dutch Presentatie Blog: 3 reasons why Prezi is not a PowerPoint killer. In short (and in English):
  1. Non-linearity is great for conveying information, it is poor for building up the suspense of a story
  2. Dramatic zooming effects take away attention from the speaker to the screen (the blog speaks jokingly about "Prezi motion sickness")
  3. The graphical capabilities of Prezi are (still) poor (colors, fonts, shapes, data charts) when compared to other applications
I must say, I tend to agree with the assessment for the traditional stand-up presentation. Does that mean Prezi should be written off? I am not sure either. Where it could be useful:
  • In the hands of highly specialized designers, rather than the mass market. It could be the basis for a great way to let people discover a product or service interactively on a web site. It would be expensive and time consuming to develop, but once it's there it should provide a great return on investment.
  • For the mass market, maybe the product should be simplified to create a basic web-based presentation tool with great ability to embed things into web sites and blogs. With the advent of HTML5, I think we are going to see a dramatic shift in how web sites look. And there will be a huge market for a simple tool that can create great web content. Obviously here it is open to competition from Sliderocket, Google Docs, and others (a PC World review of PowerPoint alternatives via Tony Ramos).
I have been trying hard to get Prezi to work (see an earlier posts about Prezi and my first attempt at making one myself), and I really want Prezi to succeed against the dominant and sometimes ugly PowerPoint monster, but I have not succeeded yet. Hopefully one of you will prove me wrong in the comments.