Look out Evernote: Microsoft's OneNote is coming to Mac

Microsoft plans to release a Mac version of its OneNote software later this month. What's more, the software is going to be available for free, according to a new report. Microsoft appears to be aiming directly at Evernote and a host of other note-taking and note-organization tools already on the Mac. The Verge:

Microsoft is planning to release a OneNote for Mac app later this month. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the Mac application is part of a broader effort to expand the features and functionality of OneNote.

OneNote helps you gather information you might need — not just notes, but web pages, links, sketches, videos and other content. The software enjoys integration with Microsoft's ubiquitous Office suite, which may be its most powerful advantage when it comes to entrenched competition that has had a long head start on the Mac platform.

This news comes hot on the heels of another rumor that Microsoft plans to release a 2014 edition of Office: Mac. Microsoft is certainly due for a major refresh — Office: Mac 2011 actually began shipping in October of 2010.

While you can still buy a single-user copy of Office: Mac, Microsoft prefers for customers to opt for its Office 365 service instead, which introduces a $99 annual subscription fee instead.

Evernote's also available for free, but the developer monetizes the app by offering a pay-to-play Premium service that adds features like improved collaboration, security and better search features, offline mode and more. Will Microsoft do something similar, or is OneNote merely the hook to keep you on the line for Microsoft Office's subscription model? We should know soon enough.

Do you already use OneNote on iOS? Are you excited by the possibility of a Mac version? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Look out Evernote: Microsoft's OneNote is coming to Mac


I never heard of Onenote, it sounds like some great software. I will have to check this out. So many note apps, it really hard if know the difference between them all.

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I actually really like OneNote, but the lack of a Mac version has always stopped me using it as much as I probably could. Am looking forward to this one.

I love it. My most used Office app, even on my Work PC. Actually made a Fluid app of the web version for quick access. Native app can't come soon enough!

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I'm also so excited for this. I've been using the browser version as an intermediate solution, but having a native app will be much preferred.

I use Evernote premium, and I will never use a Microsoft program. (Also, no need for Office for Mac anymore.) That said, I'd like Apple to develop a replacement for Evernote. The only problem would be exporting all those notes in Evernote!

I actually really like OneNote. If for no other reason than it actually handles mixed ordered lists correctly. There is no other program that allows you the control and reliability that OneNote does in that area, for some reason. Plus, the iOS app is really nice and it copy/pastes to Word perfectly when you are ready to share your notes with your team. I use it in all of my meetings and conferences.

I am forced to use Windows at work (I have asked for an iMac/Macbook several times), so that is an added benefit to me as well. Also, I have been a SkyDrive/OneDrive user for years.

As a user of OneNote I'm really looking forward to the mac version, and it's free? Added bonus!

I'm currently in school for server/network admin so I take a TON of notes. I use onenote for iPad with an external keyboard and it is fantastic. I have the office 365 student edition, 4 years for $79, and have been waiting for the OneNote MAC version, can't wait. Also, very happy I will get the 2014 office for MAC version at no editional cost!

OneNote is certainly one of the better note taking tools out there. Apple's Notes apps are rather useless and got even worse with iOS 7, and even the more serious and pricey competitors on OS X are all somewhat lacking. Circusponies' Notebook has the best clipping feature and auto-indexing, but sucks at nested lists and does not have an iPhone version, not even for viewing files. OmniOutliner is great at lists, but completely sucks for notes and you can't even view files on an iPhone either. Both completely suck at keeping files in sync across devices. Evernote is not really good at anything other than keeping things in sync, butthe GUI just seems wrong on every device. So, yes, there is room and if MS figures it out... Why not?

But then, looking at the current Office version, expecting a decent Mac app from MS is extremely far fetched. The current ones do neither have a truly compliant GUI or full feature compatibility with the Windows versions on any device. And how "free" it is, remains to be seen (I'd rather pay if it is worth it)... Need no subscription and not interested in a SkyDrive requirement either. If it does not use iCloud and/or Dropbox, I'll pass.

OneNote still remains my favorite note taking app for more than a decade, which says something considering that I've switched to Macs many years ago and can't find any good ones on Mac. I've tried many, Journlr (the second best for me but went out of business), Evernote, Outline+, Curio, Notebook by CircusPonies, and so on.

I can't wait to see OneNote on Mac, if it works as a lightweight pure native Cocoa app, and not crippled from their Windows version in terms of the flexibility and features, it'll be a killer app.

I really enjoy OneNote and its features helped me back in 2009. It should have come sooner; too many years to go mobile, too many ears to make a Mac version.

Now, for my needs, Evernote premium is simpler, lighter and more efficient. I'm afraid it's too late for me to switch back.

I am soooo excited for this to be coming soon! I stopped using OneNote because of the lack of a Mac component. Even more excited for Office 2014....

One Note never made a stand alone app for the iDevices. You had to make your notebooks on your computer, then sync to your iPhone, or iPad. This is where Evernote shines. No matter what device you are on, it is a stand alone app, and any change on one device, will auto sync to all devices. Where One Note shines, they have templates for just about any need. The free version on a Mac will be nice, but they really need to make it stand alone. I do not want to pull out my MacBook Pro every time I need to rename, or add new note books so I can see it on the iPhone, or iPad. I can log into Evernote from any computer, PC, or Mac, and it just works.

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As long as OneNote is a 2nd class citizen like the rest of Office. Otherwise good news. Other Mac options don't stack up in the work place.

Finally!!! I have tried them all and there is only one program for note taking, OneNote.

In fact, I use the MS version with Parallels now.

Not having a Mac version has been the missing link on my MacBook.

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I'm looking forward to this quite a lot. Having OneNote free and the new Mac Office suite as part of Office 365 will probably entice me to purchase the annual subscription. Our family is a mixed platform family (I adore Apple products but my wife absolutely refuses to use them) so being able to have more seamless integration for our family document needs is spectacular.

I use OneNote some, but features are few on the devices I use most to take notes: my iPad or iPhone. I have been a happy Evernote premium subscriber for years, and can't see ever replacing it. I imagine OneNote for Mac to be something akin to the iPad app: limited features unless you are an Office 365 subscriber. If that is the case, meh.

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I have toggled between OneNote and Evernote, never quite satisfied with either. A new app called Centrallo was recently released on the app store that I've come to find as the perfect solution. Can send items to a Centrallo inbox, organize them to lists within lists, and prioritize easily. Don't know what I'd do without it now. Provides simple, intuitive, and easy organization.