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Microsoft's Sway presentation app hits Windows 10, leaves preview

Devindra Hardawar, @devindra
August 5, 2015
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Sway, Microsoft's app for building well-designed presentations on the web, is beginning to seem like more than just a mere experiment. Today, Microsoft announced that it's bringing the app out of preview mode (the company's designation for a beta test), and it's launching a dedicated Sway app for Windows 10. On top of that, Sway is also one of the services Microsoft has integrated into Docs, its new online document sharing service. That's a surprising amount of progress for an app that initially seemed like a less capable PowerPoint for the web. In a nutshell, Sway lets you create stylized presentations that are easily viewable across phones, tablets and computers. Much like Edge, the company's new Windows 10 browser, it's as if Microsoft went back to the drawing board and came up with a new type of presentation app for our multi-device age. In many ways, it's also like a modern Content Management Service like those offered by Squarespace and Medium, allowing you to just plug in content and get a beautiful final product.

The Sway Windows 10 app should make it easier for users of the new OS to build and manage their projects, though Microsoft reps were clear that Sway isn't moving away from its focus on the web. The online Sway editor can do everything that the Windows 10 and iOS apps do, and it also has the benefit of being accessible by any platform with a web browser. Sway's new integration with Docs also gives you one place to share all of your presentations (you can also embed them right into any web page).

Sure, you could make a stylish web page or a well-designed presentation in plenty of other apps, but Sway's big draw is its ease of use. You can take photos, video and notes from a Windows 10 or iOS device (an Android app is coming soon) and plug them into a Sway presentation later on. Microsoft also added the ability to co-edit Sways with others, based on user feedback. Early testers include teachers who've used Sway for building class lessons, artists using it for their personal portfolios and musicians like Daria Musk, who documented the creation of a song on the service (embedded above).

Now that it's out of preview, Office 365 users in 213 markets will get access to Sway. But you don't need to be an Office user to use it -- you can sign up at Sway.com to start building presentations. While hardcore Powerpoint users probably won't be giving up their slide decks anytime soon, Sway is a sign that Microsoft is at least trying to keep pace with the changing technological landscape.

In this article: microsoft, presentations, Sway
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