Microsoft declares war on Evernote and Google -- OneNote now free and available for Mac

Successful people often go everywhere with a pad and pen. After all, you never know when an idea might materialize. However, as the technology age progresses, paper and pen is being replaced by smartphones and tablets. This is ideal, as it is easier to organize digital notes than paper ones -- syncing across devices and computers.

Many companies offer software solutions for idea retention and note taking. For example, Google offers Keep and let us not forget about the wildly popular Evernote. Microsoft also offers an amazing solution called OneNote, although it does not get the attention it deserves. Microsoft intends to change that, as today it announces a few major changes -- there is now a Mac version which will be free. Also free is the Windows version. Clearly, these moves signify Microsoft declaring war on competitors -- but is it enough?

According to Microsoft, Mac users have been begging and clamoring for a version of OneNote on social media. Microsoft releasing it for the first time, and for free, is great news for these users. While some people may be dubious that Apple users are eagerly awaiting Microsoft solutions, please remember that Office is wildly popular on Mac. Heck, Excel was first released on an Apple operating system.

Mac users are not the only ones who can celebrate; the Windows version will be free too. Microsoft explains that the program is no trial -- there will be no advertisements, nagware or limitations. It is an honest-to-goodness free solution. However, paid 365 users will get some additional features for their money -- SharePoint support, version history and Outlook integration.

Microsoft is not stopping there, it is also opening up the OneNote API. This will enable third-party software and apps to connect with a user's OneNote account. Microsoft offers the following:

  • OneNote Clipper for saving web pages to OneNote.
  • me@onenote.com for emailing notes to OneNote.
  • Office Lens for capturing documents and whiteboards with your Windows Phone.
  • Sending blog and news articles to OneNote from Feedly, News360 and Weave.
  • Easy document scanning to OneNote with Brother, Doxie Go, Epson, and Neat.
  • Writing notes with pen and paper and sending them to OneNote with Livescribe.
  • Mobile document scanning to OneNote with Genius Scan and JotNot.
  • Having your physical notebooks scanned into OneNote with Mod Notebooks.
  • Connecting your world to OneNote with IFTTT.

Clearly, Microsoft is on the offensive and wants OneNote usage to take off. While these moves are not guaranteed to generate increased usage, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Since OneNote also syncs with OneDrive (also available on Mac), this is a great gateway into Microsoft's other services too.

Will you start using OneNote? Do you already use it? Tell me in the comments.

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