Microsoft's Sway creation and presentation tool is moving out of preview and into general availability on August 5.As of today, Microsoft is making native Sway apps generally available for iPhones, iPads and, for the first time, Windows 10.
Microsoft officials have taken to calling Sway a "digital storytelling tool." The product allows users to create "Sways," which are custom-designed documents comprised of words, images, videos and other media. The back-end processing, "remixing" and storage components of Sway happen in the cloud, making Sway both an app and a service.
Microsoft first introduced Sway last October.
The free Sway for Windows 10 app is rolling out via the Windows Store as of today. The Windows 10 version of Sway allows users to integrate photos taken with the cameras on their Windows 10 devices directly into their Sways. It also provides offline capabilities via caching which could be handy for users employing Sway to present at a conference with iffy Wi-Fi, for example.
"The Windows 10 app is the most full-featured version of Sway we have," said Director of Program Management Chris Pratley.
The Sway for Windows 10 release is designed for use on PCs and tablets; a version of the product built specifically for Windows Phones "will arrive in the coming months," officials said.
Sway also is generally available starting today to all eligible Office 365 for business and education customers worldwide. (It was available to those in the Office 365 First Release program before today.) As of today, Sway is available to customers with Office 365 plans that include Office Online, Office 365 Business, or Office 365 ProPlus.
As part of today's general availability announcement, Microsoft also is repurposing its Docs.com site to become a new "Internet destination" where users can publish for public consumption their Office documents, including Sways. 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.
Microsoft originally introduced Docs.com as part of a collaboration with Facebook in 2010. Microsoft Docs was a project to try to get Facebook users to use Microsoft's Office Web Apps.
There are a number of very professional-looking Sways out there. Those who've been using the product have built presentations, brochures, portfolios and more using the product.
I've dabbled a bit with the web version of Sway (since there was no native Windows app version available until today) and built a few rudimentary Sways documenting my vacation to Vietnam and Cambodia earlier this year. I've found Sway even easy enough for a non-design-savvy journalist like me to make presentations look decent.