Gmail proves its awesomeness yet again: The Webmail service now enables you to view PowerPoint presentations as slideshows, without the need to run (or even own) PowerPoint. When you open an e-mail that contains a presentation (i.e., a PPT file), you'll see a "View as slideshow" option alongside the usual "View as HTML" and "Download" links. Click it and the presentation appears, just like magic. You can flip through the slides manually using onscreen on keyboard arrows, or right-click a slide and play the presentation just like PowerPoint would.
Well, not exactly like PowerPoint: Gmail's player doesn't support sound effects or transitions; it's pretty much just a slide viewer. But consider this: Suppose your notebook dies just before you're about to give a crucial presentation. Savvy businessperson that you are, you'd e-mailed a copy of it to your Gmail account ahead of time, just in case. Now you just need to borrow someone else's notebook and plug in the projector. It doesn't matter if he/she doesn't have PowerPoint installed; Gmail can run your presentation and save your bacon.
No doubt all this is a precursor to Google's forthcoming presentation manager, which will likely become part of Google Docs. Ah, Gmail... It just keeps giving and giving. [via Google Operating System]