Introducing Sway, from Microsoft

Microsoft has a new app. It is called Sway, and it is designed for telling stories. Basically, Sway will act as an alternative to the already popular PowerPoint when it comes to developing a presentation. If you have Windows 10, you can get the Sway app now. It is also available for download by Office 365 users. A Windows Phone app is in the works. How will Sway differ from its predecessor?

Because they are backed up to the cloud, Sway presentations are easy to embed in a website or share with other users. Instead of presentation pages, you use cards. It is easy to rearrange the storyboard and edit cards. To keep things simple, much of Sway is automated. While this may feel limiting to some, it will keep others from spending endless amounts of time working on a presentation that needs to be done by tomorrow.

This is one major difference between Sway and PowerPoint. You can’t actually create anything in Sway. You create your content elsewhere and then upload it to your story. Again, the point of this is to streamline the process. You can connect Sway to accounts in Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr to draw content.

You can also import your existing documents such as a PDF, a Word doc, or a PowerPoint presentation (which automatically converts it to Sway). You also get to choose which direction is more convenient for scrolling between horizontal and vertical.

The fact is that this new app does not replace PowerPoint in any way. It is, however, a simple way to throw together a quick presentation with preexisting materials that can be embedded into a website or easily shared via the cloud.

In the meantime, despite being designed to streamline the process of presentation making, Sway is not simple to use right out of the gate. There is a learning curve, and it won’t begin saving you time until you have had the chance to play around with it a little or watch some instructional videos.