OneNote, the note-taking and organization application that Microsoft has traditionally asked users to pay for as a part of Microsoft Office, is now free on Windows machines and the Mac.
Microsoft announced the slightly unorthodox move to make OneNote free everywhere in a post on its Office Blog this morning. Though, it’s that aforementioned Mac client that’ll likely garner the most attention – it’s never been available on Apple’s Mac operating system before – users should really be more excited about the free nature of the software itself. Windows users who didn’t purchase a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student had to pay around $70 for the software itself separately.
The Mac version joins an already impressive assortment of clients available to users on whatever device they’re on. The company’s lineup includes the OneNote web app and native versions for the iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, Windows devices and Windows Phone. Already, those versions are available for anyone to download and use absolutely free of charge.
Essentially, Microsoft is bringing the free-to-play business model of online games to OneNote. The apps themselves are free, however users will be able to pay Microsoft for access to what it calls “premium features.”
The new free apps alone should boost adoption of OneNote, however the company is also hoping that it can attract new users with a cloud system that communicates with apps. Taking advantage of this new system is OneNote Clipper, a new plugin for Chrome and Safari browsers that’ll allow users to save entire web pages directly to their OneNote notebooks.
There’s also Office Lens, a new Windows Phone app that’ll allow users to scan documents and white boards and have any information on them immediately stored in their OneNote notebook for searching and easy access later. Feedly, News360, Weave, Brother, Epson, Neat and LiveScribe are also adding OneNote integration too.
OneNote for Mac is already available in the Mac App Store for users to download. Users can also download the company’s assortment of mobile apps from each platform’s app store too.