MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Google Inc. has expanded its online suite of office software to include a business presentation tool similar to Microsoft Corp.'s popular PowerPoint, adding the latest twist in a high-stakes rivalry.
The Mountain View-based company unveiled the presentation software late Monday, about five months after Chief Executive Eric Schmidt announced Google would add the application to its software arsenal.
The new program is included in Google's free software bundle, called "Docs," which users must be online to employ. And the company will sell a souped-up version to businesses, universities and government agencies for $50 a year per user.
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As PowerPoint does, Google's presentation software enables users to create a series of slides with a mixture of text and graphics on each. PowerPoint is widely used in business meetings.
Google's software suite already included word processing, spreadsheet and calendar management programs. Microsoft has been reaping huge profits from similar applications for years.
Unlike Google's applications, Microsoft's programs are usually installed directly on the hard drives of computers.
Google executives have consistently depicted the company's software applications as counterparts to Microsoft's products.