Ten months after unveiling Sway as a new member of its Office family, Microsoft is officially releasing the digital storytelling app today — bringing the software out of preview and making it generally available with new features and a version that runs on the company’s new operating system.
Sway lets users create interactive reports and presentations, using content from a variety of sources, with dynamic layouts that can can be viewed across a range of devices and screen sizes. The free app is available for the web and iOS, and with the official release today, the company is also rolling out a new Windows 10 version of the app. The company says Windows Phone and Android versions are in the works.
“We’re trying to democratize this interactive, well-designed web experience,” said Chris Pratley, Microsoft’s general manager for Sway engineering.
It’s also an example of Microsoft new approach to product development — getting products out quickly and making steady updates rather than relying on three-year development cycles and massive product releases. The company released a basic version of Sway in October and has been steadily adding new features such as collaborative editing, support for more types of content and third-party services, and the ability to choose focal points that ensure the right parts of an image are displayed in the dynamic layout.
The official release also makes Sway available to more businesses and schools through the company’s Office 365 program, reaching a key potential market for the app. The company has also updated its Docs.com portal, where users can publicly share documents including Sway presentations.
Here’s a Sway presentation from Microsoft, explaining how the app works.