Microsoft kills Cache, its note-taking experiment with Evernote-Google Keep aspirations

Microsoft could still use a lightweight note-taking app (and no, it's not Sticky Notes).

When Microsoft launched its Cache note-taking experiment last year, we hoped it could become Microsoft’s version of Google Keep, if Microsoft devoted enough resources to it. Sadly, that’s not the case.

In a note to users, Microsoft said Thursday that it would shut down Cache at the end of February, and would no longer market it as a standalone service.

“Over the course of this year, we learned that there was an appetite for a service like Cache, but more importantly, your feedback taught us a lot about the extent of the challenges people have with managing and organizing their work,” Microsoft said in an email from the Cache team.

Microsoft launched Cache as part of its Microsoft Garage program, a series of experimental services that Microsoft doesn’t necessarily feel compelled to evolve into full-fledged services. “All Garage projects are experiments by definition, and thanks to vocal, passionate users like you, this experiment leaves us better equipped to tackle our original mission to help people easily organize their stuff,” Microsoft added.

Why this matters: Microsoft called Cache “a great place to quickly bookmark the stuff important to you,” including “text snippets, images, webpages, files, reference material, and your notes.” In a sense, it was Microsoft’s version of Google Keep, an excellent service that competes with Evernote and others. Cache could have been Microsoft’s service to store digital snippets of information, a capability that OneNote provides. OneNote, though, goes far beyond simply archiving that cool cat video URL that a friend referenced. Microsoft could still use a service like Cache, but it will have to come from somewhere else.

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Mark Hachman

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