Will Microsoft’s New Office App Sway Dethrone PowerPoint?

March 11, 2015

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b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_sway_400.jpgMicrosoft’s latest Office application, MS Sway, is looking to make some big changes to the way professionals display presentations. Designed as a cross-platform content aggregation tool, Sway is capable of creating and sharing dynamic web-based presentations that are just bold enough to catch the eye. How is Microsoft Sway looking to change the way businesses present information?

Last October, Microsoft released an invitation-only preview of Sway. Due to the incredible response from participants, and a high interest in the application in general, Microsoft has made the preview version available for all who want to try it out. If you’re curious about Microsoft Sway, you can check out the product yourself by visiting its official website.

Sway is proving to be a fairly versatile app that is capable of enriching web-based presentations with both text and images. Check out Microsoft’s video to see what can be accomplished with Sway.

While Sway is looking to be a fantastic new product for established Windows lovers, you might have noticed that Microsoft advertised Sway in the video by showcasing it being used on iPhones and iPads. When Microsoft was under the reign of CEO Steve Ballmer, this would have been unheard of. Instead of using Apple devices to advertise their products, Microsoft would have been pushing to market the Surface tablets and the Windows Phone.

However, under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has taken steps toward the integration of previously-exclusive Windows software on other platforms, like iOS and Android. With the addition of Microsoft Office 365 to the software company’s repertoire, there’s a noticeable shift toward cloud-based services. This lets users access the applications through their mobile device or PC, regardless of the operating system. The idea is that this makes the exclusive Microsoft software appeal to all audiences.

Returning to Sway, you’ll notice that before anything else, it’s designed to create presentations. This is a position that is currently held by the popular slideshow creator, Microsoft PowerPoint. While PowerPoint uses slides, Sway has a unique niche in that its presentations are web-based in a browser. This means that the presentations can be navigated through use of scrolling or swiping. Rather than looking at a slideshow, Sway is more like looking at a web page, which aids in presenting it in an engaging manner. Lifehacker is guessing that Sway will be for casual presentations, in contrast to PowerPoint’s grip on heavier and more informative presentations.

The basis behind Sway is its algorithm that helps users create dynamic presentations. The developers of Sway have been tirelessly working to find ways to improve the application, and it’s always being updated to adapt to shifts in the industry. This means that, just like social media, Sway is capable of updating itself to account for new trends and technologies. Sway allows for embedded Tweets and Facebook posts, which is a testament to the nature of the software. Additionally, Sway accounts for screen size, similar to a responsive website. This means that the presentation will always be optimized for viewing pleasure, be it on a small or large screen.

The icing on the cake is that Sway makes it easy to access your presentations. All of your content is stored in your cloud-based OneDrive account. Making a presentation has never been easier. All you need to do is drag and drop your content where you want it on the page (which is called the Sway Canvas). This makes it easy for even a beginner to create a dynamic presentation, which is something that has increased in demand as of late.

No matter how you slice it, Sway appears to be an interesting new concept, even for Microsoft. Have you tried Sway yet? Will you give it a shot? Let us know in the comments.


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