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March 18, 2014

Microsoft Releases OneNote for Free, Along with a Verison for Macs

By Matt Paulson, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Earlier today, Microsoft (News - Alert) made the announcement that all versions of their OneNote note-taking/sharing software are free, including a brand new version available for Mac. Now, anyone can enjoy using Microsoft’s program to keep track of the pictures, screencaps and other notes that people document their lives with. OneNote also features a cloud API, which allows any developer access to the program for use within another app or service. As stated by partner group program manager David Rasmussen of Microsoft, “OneNote is the ultimate extension for your brain, but it’s not complete if it’s not instantly available everywhere.”

OneNote creates a convenient and easy-to-use platform for customers to store and later retrieve information in a multitude of formats, including pictures, videos, audio and simple text. What really sets OneNote apart from other similar programs is the high depth of organization the program offers, with easily navigable folders and sub-sections pointing the way towards pieces of data. OneNote’s sharing capabilities are also very popular, and users are able to sync content across multiple platforms thanks to 7GB of free OneDrive cloud storage data.

This is an interesting move for Microsoft because they generally make most of their money through software licensing and sales. A similar move with Microsoft offering Indian mobile phone companies free operating systems with Windows phones has left some scratching their heads, fearing that the company may be resorting to desperate measures. However, this move is much more understandable when the fact that OneNote has been out since 2003 is taken into consideration.

One explanation that fits the motives behind both the free Windows Phone (News - Alert) OS and free OneNote is that Microsoft simply wants customers to be familiar with their current products, hoping to increase brand loyalty. According to Rasmussen, “Today is a huge step forward for OneNote… But we’re not stopping here,” explaining that Microsoft will still be working to improve even further upon the software.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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