Forget boring PowerPoints, Microsoft Sway graduates to Windows 10

Business users who want to integrate Sway with their existing Office 365 subscription will likely have access to it unless their company is subscribed to an older plan that Microsoft no longer sells. It’s also adding a bunch of new features in response to user feedback, some of which underscore the balance Microsoft must strike between making something new and appeasing PowerPoint converts.

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Sway launched as a preview in October 2014, becoming the first new app to join the Office product family in years. “With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7, Microsoft continued the evolution of the Start screen by adding live tiles which surface relevant and personal information to the user from apps and services”, says The Industrial Designers Society of America. You can also use some parts of the service without an Internet connection, and log into multiple accounts at once.

Think of it like PowerPoint with less control over what goes where.

“Once they realize, ‘Oh right, I’m designing something that works across devices, and the way I do that is by expressing my intent rather than all these pixel-level sizes and so on, ‘ they have this eureka moment”, Pratley says.

How is Sway different from PowerPoint?

Those who’ve been using the product have built presentations, brochures, portfolios and more using the product. Microsoft noted in the announcement that the feedback was “invaluable”, and, as a result, the company updated functions or created new ones, such as multi-user collaboration and photo cropping.

Has Sway been updated since the preview debuted?

Speaking of different browsers, Microsoft’s Edge browser has been universally applauded as a big improvement from Internet Explorer, but some users of the reviled IE are complaining that their favorites have disappeared. This is something that Redmond can not allow to have if it wants Windows 10 to take off. It would have been solved, had Microsoft listened to those complaints that were appearing on its user groups. However, the only way to get the app free is by upgrading from an earlier Windows version; if you do a clean install of Windows 10, you’ll have to pay the full $14.99 for the app from the Store.

Since day one, you could share your Sways directly to Sway.com. However, users can still customize their work if they choose. Along with Sways, users can post Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office Mix documents and/or collections that will be discoverable by search engines to the Docs.com site. The project was a prototype launched by Microsoft Fuse Labs in 2010.

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.

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Microsoft’s Sway creation and presentation tool is moving out of preview and into general availability on August 5. You can even create profile pages for Docs.com.

Credit	  		  		Corbis