The initial release was called "Presenter" designed for the Macintosh computer by Forethought, Inc. It was renamed in 1987. Microsoft bought the company and continued development, with its official launch on May 22, 1990, the same day as for Windows 3.0.

Presentations consist of a number of individual pages or "slides" (by reference to a slide projector). A better analogy would be the "foils" (or transparencies/plastic sheets) as are displayed by an overhead projector. Such “slides” may contain text, graphics, sound, movies, and other objects, which may be arranged freely. The presentation can be printed, displayed live on a computer, or navigated through at the command of the presenter. For larger audiences the computer display is often projected using a video projector. Slides can also form the basis of webcasts.

Recent versions

Windows PowerPoint iconWindows

Macintosh PowerPoint iconMac

history | show excerpt | excerpt history