Microsoft Releases Sway Presentation Tool, Windows 10 App
If you hate PowerPoint but want to create digital presentations, Microsoft aims to sway you to a new app. Sway, an online application, has come out of preview and is now available to all eligible Office 365 users.
Redmond is billing Sway as an “entirely different way to express yourself and bring ideas to life.” You could think of it as PowerPoint built from the ground up specifically for the Web and mobile devices. Sway adapts to fit the device you are using for the ideal interactive presentation.
Here’s how it works: You bring your ideas and raw content and Sway’s intelligent design engine creates a layout that includes images, text, videos and other media you need to support your story. Sway offers a clean presentation no matter what device you people are viewing your presentation on: phones, tablets, laptops, PCs or even the mammoth Microsoft Surface Hub, according to Microsoft.
Sway for Windows 10 Available
Sway is now available for Windows 10 in the Windows Store. With the Windows version, you can tap into all the features of Sway and also leverage the capabilities of a PC or tablet. The application is currently not available for Windows Phone but Microsoft is working on it. The big question is: How does this apply to businesses?
Microsoft said business professionals are using Sway to save time creating interactive reports, newsletters, trainings and other designs. For example, Sway can help you showcase a custom solution built by your IT services unit, or it could demonstrate your thought leadership in an industry.
“Use Sway’s new format to blog publicly or share expense report training with your employees,” Microsoft said. “Pitch prospective clients or attract customers with marketing materials that stand out and flow responsively across devices. Here at Microsoft we’re using Sway ourselves for internal trip reports, presentations, newsletters, corporate storytelling pieces and more.”
A High-Fidelity App
Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, wrote a report on Sway when Microsoft rolled it out in October, admitting he struggled with how to define it. Some look at Sway like Prezi -- a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas -- or compare it to other online competitors to PowerPoint. Miller looked at it a little differently.
“Sway is less for presentations and more for storytelling, which in some ways is sort of what PowerPoint was supposed to be used for -- but is not what it wound up being used for,” Miller told us previously. “Long-term, Sway is quite possibly a PowerPoint killer.”
Miller said Sway presents better because Microsoft has worked to ensure a high-fidelity output regardless of the device upon which consumers are viewing the presentation.
“If you are on a mobile phone you are going to get a pretty good experience. Sway scales and resizes and turns content one way versus the other, even if it’s a portrait-style presentation,” Miller said. “Microsoft has put a lot of work into not just how you build things with Sway but how those things are consumed by people looking at the content over the Web.”