Live Documents was announced with a lot of hype in November 2007. At that time, Live Documents' CTO Adarsh Kini claimed that the company would challenge Microsoft by breaking "Microsoft's proprietary format lock-in and builds a bridge with other document standards such as Open Office.
As the name implies, Live Presentations is a fully-featured presentation package, that is both available online and offline. The online application runs on Adobe Flash, while the desktop application is based on Adobe AIR.
Because it is built on Flash and Adobe AIR, Live Presentations' interface designers were able to create a far more compelling user experience than most of the AJAX office suites.
Live Presentations' feature set is pretty close to what you would expect from a desktop office application, with support for themes, notes, outlines, graphs, shapes, animations, and more. You can also import images from Flickr, import PowerPoint and OpenDocument presentations, and export files as PowerPoint, OpenDocument, PostScript, or Flash files.
Interestingly, the AIR-based desktop application has fewer features than the online version (you can't access themes, for example), though it is still gives you a reasonable sub-set of Live Presentations' functionality.
No online office suite would be complete without extensive collaboration features. For now, however, these features seem to be limited to sharing documents and online chats. Also, updates made by one user don't directly appear on the collaborators' desktops, which is a feature we would have really liked to see. Live Presentations' documentation also hints at the option to give remote presentations, though we weren't able to access this feature.
Live Documents is available for free and provides you with 100MB of online storage. For $6.99 a month, you can get 500MB of storage, as well as support by email.
Verdict: Lots of Potential, But Still Buggy
While we really like the feature set and user interface of Live Presentations, the software is still a bit too buggy. Sometimes, for example, changing themes would not work, or our slides would disappear from the sidebar. So while we would recommend giving Live Presentations a try, we wouldn't recommend that you sign up for a paid account just yet.
We do think, however, that the Live Documents suite, thanks to its easy to use user interface and support for offline editing, has the potential to play a major role in the online office suite market, especially once the team irons out the bugs and adds a word processor and a spreadsheet application.