PowerPoint, like most software, is designed for the 4:3 screen by adding the ribbon and status bars at the top and the bottom of the screen. A lot of screen real estate is wasted. Adobe does a better job, tool bars are positioned to the left and to the right of the work area.
I already moved my Windows bar to the side. Is there a way to do the same thing with the PowerPoint ribbon? I don't think so. A feature request for PowerPoint 2010.