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Microsoft releases OneNote for Macs, makes it free

By AP - Mar 18,2014 - Last updated at Mar 18,2014

LOS ANGELES — Microsoft Corp. on Monday released a version of its OneNote note-taking software for Macs and added new features and a free tier for all of the software’s users in moves clearly targeted at up-and-coming productivity software rival Evernote.

The moves offer more consumers a taste of its Office 365 suite of software, which normally costs $99 a year. The free version of OneNote keeps some functions that give it an edge over the free tier of Evernote, including offline access to notes and the ability for multiple people to work on the same note simultaneously.

New Microsoft users also get seven gigabytes of free online storage through its OneDrive cloud storage service. Free Evernote users are limited to uploading 60 megabytes of data per month. Evernote’s premium users, who pay $45 a year, can upload 1 GB of data per month.

Some new features play catch-up to what Evernote offered already, including a OneNote Clipper button for Web browsers that saves Web pages as notes, and a universal e-mail address [email protected] that gives users a single destination to e-mail documents to themselves for saving as notes. Evernote has its own clipper and an individualised e-mail address for sending notes to oneself.

People who purchase a full Office 365 Home Premium subscription — which includes the Outlook e-mail programme, Excel spreadsheet software and PowerPoint presentation tool — will be able to use OneNote functions that are better integrated with other Office programmes and get 20GB of cloud storage. Business users who pay to subscribe will have access to change history and tools that protect sensitive information.

The moves are part of a push by Microsoft to open up the company to working with other software platforms beyond Windows and to emphasize its cloud offerings. While the changes were in place before new CEO Satya Nadella took over in February, he fully supported the moves, said David Rasmussen, group programme manager for OneNote.

“We want to actually remove all barriers for people to adopt this,” Rasmussen said.

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