OneNote Goes Freemium for Windows and Mac, Office Lens Debuts
March 17, 2014 3:35 PM
Microsoft is also opening the floodgates to third parties to use OneNote via APIs
Microsoft Corp.'s (
) Notepad and Wordpad have long felt a little long in the tooth, lacking dedicate support for features like autosaving and cloud backup. One option, of course, was to turn to third-party apps, but Microsoft had its own beefed up notes app; OneNote. The only problem was that you generally
needed an Office suite license or an Office 365 subscription
to access OneNote.
I. OneNote Goes Freemium
That's about to change. Microsoft
announced this week
that it will be offering a slightly downgraded version of OneNote for both Windows and Mac users, via the platforms' respective app stores. The new app will reportedly lack a handful of power user/enterprise features, such as Sharepoint support and Outlook integration.
Clearly Microsoft was feeling the heat from sleek competitors like Evernote.
Here's how the new free Mac version looks...
And as a refresher, here's how the Windows version (now free) looks...
It should be interesting to watch whether the rest of Office gets shifted to such a Freemium model, one which Stephen Elop
when he was
campaigning to become CEO of Microsoft
Servers boss Satya Nadella
instead received the nod).
In related news, Microsoft also announced it would be releasing an API for third-party apps to integrate OneNote.
Japanese printing and scanning giants Brother Industries, Ltd. (
) and Seiko Epson Corp. (
) are among the early adopters to put forth OneNote enabled apps. News clipping apps such as
also added support, as did
, an app that looks to turn your mobile devices into portable scanners. A full list of Microsoft-featured OneNote API-enabled apps can be
II. Office Lens, Office Clipper Make a Splash
Microsoft also announced a slick new Windows Phone app called "
" which interfaces your Windows Phone with your global OneNote account. It allows you to snap photos, which you can enhance using cloud processing. It also offers optical character recognition technology that allows your phone to literally "see" text via its camera, which can then be inserted into OneNote entries.
Here's a view of the app in action...
...and a demo video from Microsoft:
Microsoft also offered a handy tool called
that makes it easier to copy and paste entire webpages (particularly news articles) into a OneNote entry.
Google Inc.'s (
) Android and Apple Inc.'s (
) iOS include
third-party OCR support from various app makers
, but this looks like one of the most tightly integrated and efficient OCR apps available on the market -- definitely a boost for Windows Phone.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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