Microsoft gets friendly, releases OneNote Office app for iPhone

Microsoft announced yesterday that OneNote, its Office application for taking notes, is now available on the iPhone App Store. The app lets users save reminders, to-do lists, shopping lists, notes, and other things that they want to save for later. Even better, OneNote is currently free, though the company will begin charging for it at some point.

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“We know people care more about what they do than where they do it,” writes Takeshi Numoto, corporate VP of Office. “They expect technology to make that easier. They want familiarity and for things to just work. As new pieces of technology – new browsers, mobile hardware, smart phones and social networks – become bigger parts of their lives, they expect familiar technology, like Office, to help them access their ideas wherever they are. Today’s release is another step in Office evolving to serve our 750 million customers worldwide. Whether it’s on a PC or Mac, a mobile phone, or online through the Office Web Apps on multiple browsers, we continue to bring Office to the devices, platforms, and operating systems our customers are using. It should be about the ideas and information, not the device, right?”

Thinking beyond the OS

Some days, Microsoft can be a pretty smart company. Today is one of those days. It’s good to see the company forget about its Windows OS for a minute and enhance the usability of one of its core products.

Back in the 80s and 90s, Microsoft handily defeated Apple in the PC business by selling its operating system to almost any PC maker. It’s open attitude and cheap licensing fees helped Windows flood the market and surround the Mac market. In the last decade it began to move away from this idea with products like the Zune and Xbox. It’s good to see the company reassert its dominance with more versions of Office apps. Keep ’em coming.

It would be wonderful if my Zune collection was accessible on my Android phone. If you a monthly Zune music subscription, should it matter what OS they use? Shouldn’t Bing apps be available everywhere? How about if you want to play a mobile Xbox game? It may not hurt Microsoft to start thinking beyond the OS. It has said it is becoming a cloud company, after all. The cloud doesn’t care whether you’re on Android or Windows or iOS. It just works.

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