Microsoft Sway: first impressions and possible uses

I first mentioned Sway back in October when I requested access.

Well, I’ve had access for a week or so now and have been able to spend about an hour on it.  First impressions:


  • it does what it is says it aims to, being an easy design tool for authoring/converting documents into a more appealing format
  • the inclusion of options to import Creative Commons licensed media are nice – it might be of most use for schools in keeping pupils away from images they should not be copying
  • offers a more web friendly format than the traditional document (to Flash) conversion tools, Yudu having been my tool of choice in the past
  • options between document forms (one of the promoted examples here) and more of a pinboard style (my first Sway embedded below).


  • private/public limit for published content realistically limits corporate use beyond marketing or personal use for presentations
  • still beta speed at times whilst it searches, imports, etc.
  • advanced search options would be appreciated when looking for content
  • clearly is deliberately limited in options, to the point where you suspect “oh that’s a Sway” will be a phrase that becomes as common as “well its a Prezi just for the sake of it”
  • my one attempt of an import (from an old PPT file) doesn’t seem to have worked very well – although there would be scope for tidying it up it seems like text and imagery should be imported separately
  • I have been using it on a Mac where you have other options such as iBooks – there’s no doubt a full comparison piece to be done, albeit it a tricky one as Sway develops.

Overall, yet another example of a tool the industry would see as ‘productivity’ (the excellent Mary Jo Foley’s thoughts are here) but certainly has capacity for learning uses.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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