Sway allows anyone to create a beautiful website from just images and text without minimal effort- what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) — a modern version of FrontPage. It will sit alongside the regular Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote apps as a rich content creation tool. Microsoft is billing this latest addition to its Office portfolio as a “way to re-imagine how your ideas come to life.”
The new Office app, released in preview on Wednesday, can be used to create a wide range of document types, such as: presentations and Web pages, as well as standard documents and reports. Components can include anything from text and tables, to photos, videos and animations.
Microsoft says Sway is designed to help users to quickly create and to share polished, interactive content. For example, a marketing professional could use Sway to craft a corporate brochure, or a do-it-yourselfer could share his woodworking expertise, complete with step-by-step video instructions.
More Than a Document
“A ‘Sway’ is the canvas you create using Sway, and it’s much more than a document in the traditional sense,” according to Microsoft. “It’s built from the ground up for the Web and devices.”
Microsoft said the new app adapts to fit any device, large or small. Sway is built for cloud computing, so users can just drop in their Sway is a cloud service, built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, that stores all your data so you create, continue or finish any project either in a normal web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer) or through any desktop or smartphone app.
You can simultaneously collaborate with multiple authors on a single project.
content from their cloud storage, their individual devices, or their social networks. Users’ Sways are stored in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and the photos used to create their sways are stored in OneDrive, Microsoft’s storage app. Microsoft will use the company’s powerful Azure cloud servers to suggest page layouts and to quickly render content on the fly.
Sway will format pictures and text in a way that its algorithm feels is appropriate, even picking colors from photos to apply to the site. Although the end result is on the web as a site, it’s actually a complex new format that’s stored on Microsoft’s cloud servers. Sways will render differently based on device type, but they’re not traditional responsive design as Microsoft simply creates separate views on the backend.
Sway’s built-in design engine makes it easy for users to format their various pieces of content by integrating those into cohesive layouts. Users can easily adjust their designs to create something that reflects their unique styles. “This means from the first word, image, Tweet, or graphic you add, your Sway is already being formed for you,” Microsoft explains. As you add more of your content, Sway continues to analyze and arrange it based on built-in algorithms and design styles. You can then easily adjust and customize the format as needed.
Users can share their content with others even if they don’t have the Sway app installed via links as well as on certain social networks including Facebook and Twitter. You can also embed Sways in websites
Microsoft plans to add more business -specific features. A few examples include OneDrive for Business and SharePoint connectivity, integrating the Office Graph, and capabilities for information protection and IT management.
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks often about positioning the company for a “mobile-first, cloud-first world,” and Sway is another step in that effort. The goal is to make products like Office, Outlook and Skype staples for individual customers regardless of the device they’re using, and to transform Windows from a desktop operating system to cloud computing platform that can be accessed from anywhere