Microsoft PowerPoint 2003
Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 is more than two years old and isn't the simplest presentation software to use, but it is still the best overall choice for a small-business user who needs to create slide shows and presentations. It's available as a stand-alone program or as part of the Office 2003 package; the Small Business Edition encompasses Word, Excel, Publisher, and Outlook, while the Professional Edition also includes Access. At around $200 for just the PowerPoint software (about $500 for the entire Office 2003 suite), it's on the pricey side, but it's a responsive program that gives you a lot of options when you're building a presentation. Unfortunately, your choice of export formats is limited.
For this review, we loaded the entire Office 2003 Professional Edition suite, which took about 11 minutes; if you're installing just PowerPoint, it should go faster. Unfortunately, PowerPoint doesn't come with a manual or a shortcut sheet; you'll have to rely on links to Microsoft's Web site for instruction and tips.