If April came early, this would have been a nice joke. Microsoft released a content creation app called Sprightly on the Google Play store.
Initially I was mildly surprised that Microsoft Garage would incubate the concept for this app and release it as it is.
Now, it is billed as a really a tool for creating flyers, pricelist, catalog and eCards.
After I took it for a spin, I didn’t know what to say. I had to drown myself in absinthe and feast on rotted cheese to clear the memory of that experience.
I do not know what to say.
Microsoft isn’t the most creative company in the world. After a string of misses, they still do not understand what people want. Which makes me wonder if they are at all serious about content creation.
These are the folks who set the bar for Microsoft Office. Since then, they have wallowed in the mud, stepped on a few landmines and followed a sure path down hill.
Real World Applications
Why is Sprightly so bad?
Let’s say you wanted to create a catalog, of say four items to showcase on your instagram or Facebook page. The first thing you will realize is that you have no control over the cropping of your images, you have to crop your photo to the correct shape before using it on the template.
There are no tools to beautify the image either. So if you didn’t enhance your photo before you took it, you are pretty much fucked.
Then you have no creative control over the fonts used. It is as if the 21st century never happened. It has only ONE font option and you can have any color for that font as long as it is black.
Then you have the sad lack of creative layout for template choices.
I know. Microsoft is as creative as a culinary chef from McDonalds. They recycle ideas from the last century and hope you don’t notice but no one told them they got found out.
Content is all about Catching your Eye
This is where Microsoft gets it all wrong. By coming out with a vanilla grey Sprightly app, they think you should communicate in black and white.
The creative option is as rigid as adamantium. You can’t add borders, or for that matter use a different paper color. It is also is unable to make things attractive to the eye with creatively curated fonts.
All you do with the Sprightly app is to drop in a picture, fill in the descriptions and maybe the price and leave it at that. There is really nothing else you can do with it.
Is it simple to use?
Yes. If all you want is to drop a pix and add a price, yea. But that’s not to say that you can’t do this on other apps.
The multipage feature may sound brilliant but is hardly useful.
The flyer option is dead boring. How would you want an flyer that bores the hell out of people when you send it to them?
I suppose the idea behind this app is to integrate a host of services that Microsoft offers online but this addition is by no means cohesive.
You don’t fetch files from your skydrive or import excel files into your Sprightly document.
Maybe I am being harsh here after all, it is Version 1.0. Who knows what might happen with Version 2.
For now, I think that the app is probably suitable for the more geriatric members of Microsoft who probably think that dropping a picture and adding a description is probably all you want to do when sending out a sales list or catalog.
As insane as it sounds, they might be right but I can assure you, the rest of us will disagree.