Beta 1 of "OneNote 12" (and "Office12") is now available for download for those people who are signed up (you know who you are). This is not a public beta so if you're not already on the beta you are not going to be able to see it. Sorry. If you want to play with pre-release OneNote you'll have another chance in the Spring when we release Beta 2, also called the "preview" release. That release will be much more suitable for people who are not inclined to risk data, crashes, etc. You can register to get the preview here (click "Register Now" - it's at the bottom right of the large picture at top). There's more general Office 12 info at that site too, including an RSS feed.
Now, to people who have Beta 1, hold on to your hats.
As has been mentioned in various blog posts, check out a bunch of new capabilities:
1. Multiple notebooks
2. Shared notebooks (multi-user, online/offline no holds barred rich "wiki-like" experience)
3. Sync notebooks between your multiple machines (same as #2 but with yourself only)
4. Hyperlinks between and into/out of notes
5. Instant search
7. Embedded documents
8. Drag and drop of sections, pages, folders, notebooks
9. All images made searchable and indexed using OCR (if they have text in them)
10. Print documents to OneNote from any application - and these are indexed and searchable too.
11. New ink model (Lasso tool etc.)
12. Drawing tools
13. Save as PDF (and "XPS")
14. Live sync of task status and other connections with Outlook2007
16. OneNote Mobile!
There are other capabilities in the beta as well - Owen or myself will write about them later.
It's also worth mentioning that this beta is not "feature complete". I've already mentioned a few things that aren’t there (audio/video search, the rest of Outlook integration, WebDAV support for shared notebooks). There is also more stuff which I'm not going to talk about just yet (and it is meaty). Many things are not yet the way we expect them to be in the final release, so don't draw conclusions yet but most definitely give us feedback.
Lastly I'll remind people who are beta testing that this is a very rough build. This early beta has had next to no polish work done on it. It is not "just about done". That would describe the "preview release" next Spring. You are going to have no trouble finding nasty bugs and bad experiences. Please post those bugs to betaplace per the instructions you got as we do need your help! Report crashes and anything else that OneNote (or Office) asks you to report. We're especially interested in problems you have upgrading your notes from 2003 format to 12, as well as problems with inking, and data loss (if any). Where you can, provide your files with the bug report since that makes it WAY easier for us to understand and reproduce your situation. There are known issues in the beta of course (we have a huge stack of bugs on our work list that are not fixed in the beta) but also lots more to discover.