Microsoft's attempts to steal Evernote users moves to the Mac

The company's importer tool is now available for OS X

Microsoft is now giving Mac users an easy path to get their notes out of Evernote and into its OneNote note-taking service. 

The company on Thursday announced a OneNote Importer beta, which lets users copy their notes over from one service to the other with a few clicks. 

The importer looks for Evernote notebooks on a computer, and then prompts users to log in with either their personal Microsoft accounts or one controlled by an organization like the company they work for. After that, the importer does the heavy lifting to bring files into OneNote.  

The importer requires users to run OS X El Capitan, the latest version of Apple's operating system, and have all of the Evernote files they want to import already sitting on their computers. 

The move is emblematic of a bunch of shifts within Microsoft over the tenure of CEO Satya Nadella. OneNote was previously only available for desktop computers on Windows to paying customers of Microsoft Office. Now, Microsoft operates it as a free service, and even introduces new features first to client apps that aren't on Windows. 

The Mac importer comes after Microsoft launched a similar importer for Windows last March. Users have imported 71 million Evernote pages into OneNote since then, Microsoft said. It's not clear how many users that adds up to, or how many of those people have chosen to switch from Evernote to OneNote full-time. 

One of the major differences between OneNote and Evernote is that OneNote is grounded in the physical concept of a notebook. Each of the notebooks have digital sections and pages for organizing thoughts, as opposed to Evernote, which focuses more on dumping notes into notebooks in a less structured manner. Making the switch from one service to another could be a difficult transition.

But Microsoft has an opportunity to steal users away after Evernote announced earlier this summer that it would be increasing the cost of its paid subscriptions. Evernote Premium (which offers users the broadest range of features) now costs $70 a year, the same price as a year-long subscription to Microsoft Office 365, which offers additional storage for OneNote.

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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