OneNote now free

March 23rd, 2014 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

Microsoft announced last week that it was making OneNote free. Paid upgrades and corporate sales as part of Office 365, however, still exist, and that may hint at Microsoft’s overall strategy for Office going forward.

The PC app, its note-taking service that syncs across platforms, the new Mac app, and a variety of small tools for the service are now available for anyone to use without cost.

Microsoft wants to drive up OneDrive usage, an experience that is tied closely to OneNote. So the company lowered friction to entry by increasing its platform support in OneNote and by ending pricing questions. No matter where you want to use the service, you can, and Microsoft would like to welcome you into the larger Office-as-a-Service world with open arms.

For some time now, Microsoft has also used OneNote as a service for experimenting with new ideas and platforms. The fact that it’s now the first of the Office apps to go freemium both on the desktop and the web could mean Microsoft is considering this kind of freemium model for other Office applications, as well. For some, OneNote could also be the gateway drug into the Office ecosystem, which, after all, already includes the free Office Web apps.

Isn’t Microsoft depreciating the value proposition of Office 365 by making a component that it once sold, free? Perhaps, but you have to wonder who was buying that service for its inclusion of OneNote, and, secondly, what the potential value-add is for Microsoft to spur new, engaged users, as opposed to a minor potential drag on sales of its Office service SKUs. A useful, but somewhat disparate service has been improved and brought into something approaching harmony.

One overlooked benefit of One note is that you can print to it and form it. This means that if you have an erp application that does not allow you tor reprint a document then you can achieve this via One Note- e.g. for cheque re-printing from Dynamics Ax.


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