G Suite vs. Office

Google Slides vs. Microsoft PowerPoint: Which works better for business?

PowerPoint has long been the tool of choice for creating business presentations, but Google Slides is worth a second look. We compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Google Slides vs. Microsoft PowerPoint
Thinkstock / Google / Microsoft

If you’re going to give business presentations, odds are you’ll be choosing between Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides, the two best-known presentation applications. They’re both solid, useful tools — and both have changed a great deal over the years. Given all their changes, you may want to reconsider what you’re using today.

To help you choose, I put them through their paces by building a presentation that many business professionals might create: announcing a new product or service line. In each program I started by looking for suitable templates, then created a new presentation; added slides; juiced them up with graphics, video, and animations; collaborated with others on it; and finally, gave presentation itself.

One difference between Slides and PowerPoint is price. Although Google Slides is part of Google’s licensed Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) subscription for businesses, it remains free for individual use. PowerPoint is part of Microsoft Office, which has a variety of different iterations for personal or business use and is available as either an annual Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription or as a one-time purchase (what Microsoft calls the “perpetual” version of Office). Individuals can use the online version of PowerPoint for free, but its functionality isn’t as robust as the desktop client’s.

This review focuses on the PowerPoint desktop application for Windows in Microsoft 365/Office 365. Individuals and businesses who use the perpetual version of PowerPoint may not have all the features covered here. Because it’s a multiplatform world, I also tested PowerPoint’s macOS desktop client, its web version, and its Android and iOS mobile apps. Google Slides is web-based, and I used it in my Edge and Chrome browsers; Google also offers Slides apps for Android and iOS, so I tested those as well.

With all that in mind, let’s get started.

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