The war between Apple and Microsoft will undoubtedly define the technological landscape of the 21st Century. The only competition more significant is the continually unfolding saga of paper vs. plastic in grocery stores. Who can decide?
There are some key differences, though, and compatibility is an issue that is rapidly simplifying with the advent of cloud-based applications surging onto the market. Here are some of the most prominent differentiators:
Templates/Layouts: Keynote is reputably easier for the beginner on this front. When the program is first opened, you have a choice from a generous number of predesigned themes. More so, layout options are built into each theme so you won’t have to wrestle with the two separately. If you’re rushed (or technologically inept), this is majorly helpful.
Multimedia: Powerpoint offers a more robust level of enhanced design and multimedia capabilities. If you humor your inner creative expressionist, you’re bound to enjoy these design capabilities, as well as the relative ease associated with adding audio and video clips. Keynote is actually more appealing on the animations front, but that’ shouldn’t muddy the waters for you: most people are either animations folks or not. Few experience ambivalence here.
One final word on multimedia related issues: PowerPoint is the default program in the business world, so if you plan to ferry your deck around the globe or solicit feedback from remote collaborators, you’ll find your efforts to be much easier with PowerPoint.
General: You can expect Keynote to be the user-friendly, overall capabilities winner in presentation design software today. But what PowerPoint lacks in general power, it makes up for in ubiquity. Carefully consider the parameters of your business environment–and just how important seamless transmission of your deck is–when deciding on a program. No amount of capability can make up for the frustrations of program hamstringing.