Microsoft's Sway gains legitimacy with Windows 10 plans, iPad app

Microsoft's lightweight content creation tool will be an integral part of Windows 10 when it launches this summer.

Microsoft Sway

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Joining the ranks of other Windows 10 universal apps this summer will be Microsoft’s lightweight content-creation tool, Sway. Before that, however, it’s making the leap to the iPad.

Microsoft launched Sway last fall, blurring the lines between Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Currently, the app is available for Windows 8 and the iPhone, which also received a new update on Thursday as well. Both of the versions for Sway for the iPad and iPhone now tap into Office 365, automatically logging you in, and support seven languages, including Japanese.

What this announcement does, however, is place Sway on par with Microsoft’s more well-known apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Microsoft has developed versions of all five apps on major platforms including iOS and Android, and is busy designing versions of each for Windows 10. They’ll either be available as part of Office 2016, or else as a series of universal apps that will span the company’s phone, tablet, and PC platforms. (Microsoft hasn’t announced Sway for Android, but it’s expected.)

Microsoft Sway

While it’s available on the iPhone, however, Sway won’t be a part of the Windows 10 phone launch, at least initially—it will be available just for PCs and tablets, Microsoft said. In the latest iteration of Microsoft-speak, Microsoft’s Sway team referred to the app as a “native app,” presumably meaning an app that will run on all Windows 10 platforms, eventually.

In the meantime, Apple users will be able to take Sway on the road. The Sway app, available from the App Store, includes Sway features such as the ability to edit and preview content, and remix it as well. The latter term refers to the way in which Sway quickly allows you to switch between styles and formats, reformatting your content on the fly. Windows versions have even allowed Sway to pick randomly.

sway from one drive Microsoft

It can be kind of a mess, but Sway allows you to mix and match all sorts of elements together.

Sway was originally created to address the modern student: Sways can be embedded, but not printed. They’re live documents that are designed to be shared. That idea certainly makes sense in the tablet space, where documents are rarely, if ever, printed.

Why this matters: Sway is one of Microsoft’s intriguing experiments from an Office team that whipped up Office Mix, Delve, and Sway in its app laboratory. With a dedicated iOS app, plus a roadmap to Windows 10, it certainly looks like Sway has moved out of the lab and into production. 

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