Microsoft’s Sway grows friendlier to external content sources with embeds and more

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Microsoft is working hard to improve and modernize its software on multiple fronts, Windows 10 really being just the tip of the iceberg. An exciting new Office suite is coming, OneDrive will be better integrated in Win 10, and Internet Explorer is finally acknowledged as a thing of the past.

Then there’s Sway, a slightly lower-profile web app Redmond’s been developing for a while, which seems to be blossoming into a charming little presentation tool. With obvious ties to classical Office products, chiefly PowerPoint, Sway switched from a closed beta program to an open-for-all preview last month.

Now, it’s getting its first post-release update, and one of the most notable tidbits in the changelog is the complete absence of bug fixes. Yes, Sway is that stable and polished already.


Plus, it grants embeds of a variety of content, including videos, images, audio clips, maps, charts and documents. SoundCloud, Vine, Vimeo, Excel Online, YouTube and Flickr headline the list of newly supported third-party services, and blending together sound, video and text is much easier than before.

You can still use the Upload option for PDF, Word or PPT files stored on your PC or Mac, and imports have been vastly improved and made simpler too with native compatibility for older file formats, as well as the latest .docx or .pptx. Bye, bye, nagging conversion!

Last but not least, Microsoft has put a lot of effort into smoothing out Sway’s creation process, so grouping images and text together, as well as separating them now takes little to no training. Learning the app’s ropes is no big deal, so be sure to sign up for the preview and take it for a spin as soon as possible. It’s fun, minimalistic and engaging.