It’s hard to imagine a time when slideshows were little more than a series of static photographs accompanied by a single voice explaining what was going on. PowerPoint changed all that: nowadays, a slideshow is an orgasmabord of multimedia elements pulled together to produce visually arresting presentations… Okay, so many presentations are as dull as ditch water, but that’s not for the want of trying on PowerPoint’s part.

PowerPoint 2010 builds on previous versions with the following new features: you can now embed and edit video within PowerPoint itself, allowing you to trim and add effects while not having to worry about providing a separate video file to go with your presentation when sharing it. There are new picture-editing tools too - including a handy screen grabbing function, plus 3D transition and animation effects to make your slides even more striking.

The new Office Backstage management centre, which replaces the Office button found in PowerPoint 2007, allows you to easily compress your presentations to fit, plus you’re able to fully customise the rest of the ribbon interface from here too, allowing you to put all your favourite tools on one easily accessible ribbon.

The sharing and collaborative tools have been overhauled too – it’s now possible to broadcast your presentation to another location, even if PowerPoint isn’t present, plus you can convert your slideshow into a video for sharing elsewhere too. You can co-author presentations by working on them simultaneously with others over the internet.

PowerPoint Home and Student 2010 can be installed on up to three computers for non-commercial use. Professional users should take a look at PowerPoint 2010 instead.

Note that there is no trial version of PowerPoint 2010. You can try the Office 2010 suite.

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Do you need this upgrade? Yes, if you want even more video and image editing controls, or like the idea of collaborating and sharing your presentations quickly and easily.