What’s going on at Microsoft’s headquarters these days? Are the executives that hang out there very clever or very desperate?
Whatever it is, Microsoft is cranking out a bag of change since they kicked out former CEO Steve Ballmer. The trail he left isn’t pretty. The Zune is gone. Xbox doesn’t make any money. Sales of Windows PCs are on the decline. Windows Phone has insignificant marketshare. Yet, here’s our favorite Windows maker’s latest– a free app for the Mac.
Sour Note, Sour Grapes
To be honest about my perspective, I’m not a fan of Microsoft, Windows, Office or even Xbox (though Kinect was pretty much awesomely cool). One of Microsoft’s more popular apps on iPhone is also on the Mac. It’s called OneNote, a free digital notebook that syncs with other devices running OneNote.
That means PCs, Windows Phone, iPhone and iPad, and Android devices have a behemoth competitor for the highly popular Evernote multi-platform app.
OneNote works much like Evernote. It’s a digital notebook that captures almost anything including images (scanned receipts, documents, etc), features a mini-word processor, has easy search tools, and syncs with OneNote on other devices. As a somewhat typical Microsoft app, OneNote for the Mac has a cluttered but familiar Windows-app-like look. Think toolbars and tabs and lots of both.
To use OneNote for Mac you’ll need a OneNote account from Microsoft, but they’re free. You’ll then be able to store notes in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service.
OneNote lets you create and manage multiple notebooks which look and feel (within reason) to OneNote files on iPhone and iPad and Windows.
Notes in OneNote can be pretty much anything you can think of. Meeting notes, research notes, shopping list, homework, idea sharing with other OneNote users, and more.
After using OneNote on my Mac for a month I can say it’s a good replacement for Evernote, which now has a price tag, and syncs notes between all major devices. My worry has to do with the business model and Microsoft’s commitment to devices which don’t carry the Microsoft logo.
That said, it looks as if Microsoft is going all in on making software work across multiple platforms– Mac, iPhone and iPad, Windows of course, and even Anroid.
Yes, OneNote works on Apple Watch and it works well.
Maybe there’s a business model in free apps, but so far, rich companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google are subsidizing a whole boatload of useful utilities.
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