Many people have 16:9 computer monitors by now. Most of the time, we still design slides in 4:3 or A4/letter mode. As a result, a lot of space is available on the left and right of the PowerPoint slide in editing mode.
PowerPoint, like most software, is designed for the 4:3 screen by adding the ribbon and status bars at the top and the bottom of the screen. A lot of screen real estate is wasted. Adobe does a better job, tool bars are positioned to the left and to the right of the work area.
I already moved my Windows bar to the side. Is there a way to do the same thing with the PowerPoint ribbon? I don't think so. A feature request for PowerPoint 2010.