In an attempt to go after their competitors’ jugular, Microsoft has announced today that they will be releasing Office’s OneNote application for free to ALL platforms. This note taking application has been around for quite some time, but originally started on the Windows platform and slowly inched its way over to Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. Now that they’ve got a fully cross-platform not taking application, they are going after their biggest competitor, Evernote by going free, something that even Evernote can’t do for their premium features, which include offline access.
Clearly this move is part of Microsoft’s strategy to strengthen their cloud applications presence where Microsoft has been hammered by Google. Microsoft clearly recognizes that they have the second strongest if not strongest set of cloud-enabled applications for productivity and that they need to properly utilize them in order to grow their user base. People use Google Apps quite a bit, but if Microsoft can give them a better experience across all platforms, I think a lot of people would be willing to switch. Not to mention, Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure is probably the only one that could compare to Google’s own.
While I personally haven’t used OneNote as much in the past, I suggest that you do check it out now that its free and cross-platform. I have just installed it on my Android devices and already have it pre-installed on a few of my Windows 8 notebooks and desktops. However, some of my desktops run older versions of Windows, so you may need to download a separate version of OneNote even if you already have it installed in order to have perfect cloud syncing between your devices. I will be using OneNote over the course of the next few weeks, as I already do take a lot of notes and store them in the cloud and will be sure to report back on how that works out for me compared to my experiences with Evernote, which were good while I had free Premium access.