Thursday, March 27, 2008

On Apple Keynote

I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong, but in this instance I feel more justified than anything else. I'm also one to avoid a hype bandwagon, sometimes (I'll admit) to my own detriment when something I would normally find cool is hyped to the point where it can't simply be that good. Especially when the person doing the hyping is one I tend to disagree with.

But I digress. I've had the pleasure these last couple of days of working extensively with Apple's Keynote software. For you PC scrubs out there, Keynote is to Apple what Powerpoint is to PC. Well that's not entirely true, because you have to own Apple-branded hardware to run this Apple-branded software (monopoly cough) while you can run Powerpoint on a Mac. But seriously, why would you want to?

When it comes to one functional program over I generally don't really care what I use. Features are the first dealbreaker; OpenOffice, for example, fucked up the formatting on my work documents so I scrapped it after a couple of weeks. UI is the second dealbreaker; how easy is the program to use? More importantly, how intuitive is it? I don't have a problem changing my habits to switch from one version of a program to another if the learning curve is low enough that it doesn't matter - and to its credit, Office 2007 is awesomely easy to learn.

But Powerpoint has always been my nemesis. I have never had a violent impulse from a video game, but Powerpoint has made me contemplate murder and other kinds of sociopathic behavior. Its autoformatting is a piece of shit and it just isn't easy to use - it's not intuitive.

Keynote is Powerpoint without the annoying bits. It is so ludicriously intuitive you'd think it was reading your mind. It gives you everything you need to adjust your slides automatically rather than making you hunt for them through a series of nested menus. It's almost fun to use.

I doubt I'm going to run out and buy a Mac anytime soon, but this does offer one answer to my favorite question for Macheads: what about a Mac actually makes it better than a PC (other than 'It's not Windowz LOL' or 'it just works,' which is a crock of shit.) Keynote kicks ass. I wish I could buy it for my PC.

Transparency Disclaimer: I worked (but no longer do so) on Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit PR team in the Digital realm.

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