Microsoft releases OneNote for Macs, makes it free

Mar 17, 2014

Microsoft Corp. on Monday released a version of its OneNote note-taking software for Macs and added new features and a free tier for all of the software's users in moves clearly targeted at up-and-coming productivity software rival Evernote.

The moves offer more consumers a taste of its Office 365 suite of , which normally costs $99 a year. The free version of OneNote keeps some functions that give it an edge over the free tier of Evernote, including offline access to notes and the ability for multiple people to work on the same note simultaneously.

New Microsoft users also get 7 gigabytes of free online storage through its OneDrive cloud storage service. Free Evernote users are limited to uploading 60 megabytes of data per month. Evernote's premium users, who pay $45 a year, can upload 1 GB of data per month.

Some play catch-up to what Evernote offered already, including a OneNote Clipper button for Web browsers that saves Web pages as notes, and a universal email address me@onenote.com that gives users a single destination to email documents to themselves for saving as notes. Evernote has its own clipper and an individualized for sending notes to oneself.

People who purchase a full Office 365 Home Premium subscription—which includes the Outlook email program, Excel spreadsheet software and PowerPoint presentation tool—will be able to use OneNote functions that are better integrated with other Office programs and get 20 GB of . Business users who pay to subscribe will have access to change history and tools that protect sensitive information.

The moves are part of a push by Microsoft to open up the company to working with other software platforms beyond Windows and to emphasize its cloud offerings. While the changes were in place before new CEO Satya Nadella took over in February, he fully supported the moves, said David Rasmussen, group program manager for OneNote.

"We want to actually remove all barriers for people to adopt this," Rasmussen said.

Microsoft didn't completely open up its latest software developments to other platforms, however.

One new function, which it calls Office Lens, allows users to take pictures of documents or whiteboards. The program squares up and cleans up the image before saving it as a note, making words recognizable and searchable through character recognition software. The feature comes as a free app only available for Windows Phone.

The premium tier of Evernote has a similar feature that allows users to take photos of business cards. The app automatically saves the information as a contact entry.

Explore further: Post-it notes get fresh life with digital app

3.2 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Review: Microsoft Office pricey, but good value

Jan 30, 2013

As much as I like Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets, I find the online software clunky at times. So I was skeptical when I heard Microsoft is trying to sell its new version of Office as an ...

Office 365 goes into public beta

Apr 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Microsoft has released its latest product for business, Office 365, into public beta. The program, which is limited in its participants, allows users to try out the new software in exchange ...

Recommended for you

Watching others play video games is the new spectator sport

Aug 29, 2014

As the UK's largest gaming festival, Insomnia, wrapped up its latest event on August 25, I watched a short piece of BBC Breakfast news reporting from the festival. The reporter and some of the interviewees appeared baff ...

SHORE facial analysis spots emotions on Google Glass

Aug 28, 2014

One of the key concerns about facial recognition software has been over privacy. The very idea of having tracking mechanisms as part of an Internet-connected wearable would be likely to upset many privacy ...

User comments : 0