The PowerPoint Ribbon is super helpful in being in the same place on all installs of PowerPoint. Sometimes, it uses valuable screen real estate. Luckily, it is easy to hide the Ribbon, just click the small upper arrow on the right.
When the Ribbon is turned off, PowerPoint frees up all that space just by displaying the menu bar (and on my install, the QAT that is below the menu bar).
Any time a menu item is clicked, the Ribbon temporarily displays.
To make the Ribbon stay visible, click any menu item, then click the small thumbtack icon on the right.
-Troy @ TLC