Microsoft says 30,000 line up for OneNote beta

Microsoft said Tuesday that more than 30,000 people have signed up to test its forthcoming OneNote application when the final beta is released later this month.

The application, which aims to create a digital equivalent of a notepad and paper, was first shown in November and is due to ship mid-year as one of two new members in Microsoft's Office family of products.

With OneNote users can type or enter handwritten notes anywhere on a page, making document creation a less structured affair than with Microsoft Word. Users can also drag images or graphs onto a page and attach audio clips to their notes.

Information is saved automatically when it is entered, and notes can be organized using a 'tab' filing system. Searching for information in OneNote files is also supposed to be easier than with other applications, according to Microsoft.

Attracting 30,000 potential beta testers in four months shows how appealing the idea of a digital notepad is to users, according to Roan Kang, OneNote product manager. A notice about the program was posted on Microsoft's Web site in November.

One analyst said it's important for Microsoft that the application proves inspiring to users. It's being released along with an upgrade to Microsoft Office, code named Office 11, and users typically don't flock to an Office upgrade unless it's accompanied by a new operating system release, which will not be the case this time, said Rob Enderle, an analyst with Giga Information Group.

"People don't like to move to a new Office suite that's not tied to an OS release, those suites tend not to do so well. So Microsoft needs to put a lot of stuff in (Office 11) to make it compelling for people to move to," he said.

Also new to Office will be InfoPath, formerly known as XDocs, an application that allows users to save information in XML format so that it can be read by back end business applications.

As many people can take part in the OneNote beta program as want to, Kang said. Users will need a PC with Windows 2000 or a later version of operating system, the company said.

More information about OneNote and the beta program is at

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?