Robert Scoble posted a number of videos with previews of the upcoming Microsoft Office 2010 release. Here is the one about PowerPoint 2010 (speaking is Chris Bryant, product manager on the Office 2010 team):Here are the main points covered in this video (which does not mean that these are the major new features in PowerPoint 2010)
- More "cinematic" transitions. More spectacular slide transitions. I never use any form of slide transition, they distract the audience, or worst case: makes them laugh while you are presenting a very serious subject
- Animation painter. Copy and paste animation effects from one object to another, not essential
- Better video integration. I like this, I think that video will be used increasingly in presentations. Today, integrating rich media into your presentation is a high-risk activity that is likely to result in things going wrong (technically) in the middle of your presentation. PowerPoint 2010 allows you edit videos and sync them with animations
- Backstage view: an elaborate screen to control file protection, compression, etc.
Here is my (partial) wish list of features for a new PowerPoint release. Some of them are probably impossible to implement for the moment...
- A powerful 3D engine to control where to put shapes on a surface, where to put light sources, pretty much like professional design programs like AutoCAD. The third dimension is only used to add some effects to a PowerPoint slide, it could be so much more. It would literally open a whole new design dimension to slide design
- Fully integrated canvas zooming a la PowerPoint plex or Prezi, enabling you to work on one big interactive slide that you can zoom in and out of
- A powerful animation control engine, not more flashy effects, but a clear sequence editor to move objects across a slide to exact locations, including a good solution to deal with and edit layers of overlapping objects.
- Tight cloud integration. Files are getting bigger, collaboration changes. This video about PowerPoint 2010 did not address these "workflow" issues, but I think they are being addressed in the overal Microsoft Office 2010 release.
You can sign up for the technical preview of Office 2010 here. The product will ship in early 2010.