Microsoft Releases OneNote for Mac

Microsoft formally responds to cross platform notes app challengers like Evernote.

OneNoteI’ve used Evernote for years. It really became popular in 2008-2009 when it released desktop and mobile device versions for most of the popular platforms of the day. Evernote came to the Mac in 2011.  Since then, they’ve been traveling at warp speed at the front of the cross-platform note taking app race. The strategy with them has been to give users one common place to collaborate with teammates and to hold their information. You can access your information from just about any device, on any platform anywhere.

Until the last few years, Microsoft’s been a bit absent from the party. OneNote was pretty good on a PC, but until recently, getting access to the information you may have stored there has been challenging.  OneNote for iOS solved some of those issues. Up until now, Office for Mac has been missing some big pieces – Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio are among those in the office that are still among the most missed.  However, Microsoft today removed OneNote from that list and has released OneNote for Mac.

Microsoft is rumored to be planning a new release of Office for Mac later this year. OneNote for Mac looks a LOT like its Windows counterpart, bringing UI standardization (within the suite at least) to the Mac version. It clearly makes you wonder if the new version of Office for Mac will share the same look and feel as its Windows counterpart, or if it will still have the standard Mac UI elements.  With all of the Office development teams now part of the same group (something that didn’t exist before – Microsoft had previously, purposefully from what my MS sources have said – put them in different groups with different goals and objectives), it’s clear that a standardized, cross-platform look and feel may actually be possible with this next release. It will also be interesting to know whether Microsoft makes OneNote for Mac part of the standard Mac Office install, or if they will make you download and install it separately.  We should know in a few months when the new version of Office for Mac is rumored to be released, nearly four years from its last update in 2010.

OneNote for Mac makes extensive use of Microsoft OneDrive. All versions of OneNote will be able to store notebooks there and sync them across all platforms, including OneNote for iOS. Users can also share notebooks with friends and coworkers, with near real time editing. This way, users will be able to share and collaborate with other remote users. Notes and notebooks will maintain a standardized look and feel regardless of what platform they are opened or edited on.

Are you interested in OneNote for Mac? Do you use OneNote on other platforms, or on an iOS device? Do you think it will become part of the standard Office for Mac install, or will it always be a separate app to install? Will the other missing Office apps – Access, Project, Publisher and Visio – be included with future Office for Mac updates or will the two suites forever be separate?  Why don’t you chime in in the discussion area and let me know what you think? I’d love to get your opinion on this, as Office has always been a favorite app suite and topic for me.

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