We’re done! As you may have heard, 2007 Office System (including OneNote!) went golden on Friday. We had a great ship party with lots of OneNote purple hair and not just on the OneNote team!
I’d like to thank all of you who participated in the beta program and gave us feedback, whether it be direct bug reports and requests through the beta site, the Connect site, the public newsgroup, this blog or other paths, crash and hang reports, or Customer Experience Improvement Program usage data. It all helped make a better product and is much appreciated.
OneNote 2007 is a milestone for the product since it not only delivers a whole set of new capabilities and features, but expands the scope of what “OneNote” means. With 2003 many people referred to OneNote as (merely) a “note-taking” product (and often mistakenly only for TabletPC). With 2007, OneNote has grown up to be much more than that description. OneNote 2007 is now a lightweight collaboration tool for small groups and teams. Shared notebooks, wiki-like functionality, and the ability to work on shared items online and offline and have even complex changes sync and merge is unparalleled in the software world.
At the same time, the “personal organization” aspect of OneNote has expanded. It’s a great tool for people to manage their effort to get things done. With the new links to Outlook such as two-way task sync, notes on contacts, and the ability to send emails into OneNote the integration with Office is very strong. The ability to have multiple notebooks and to use note flags to categorize notes help you organize your projects and notes effectively.
OneNote also makes a great research tool, whether for personal or shared research. You can clip things from the web as HTML or web clippings (images). Images are indexed for searching just like text. When you clip from the web or office document types, a link is retained to the source. Unlike other research tools, you can highlight or annotate research with ink or text or voice to remind yourself or others as to why you chose to keep that information, and order the research in ways that make sense to you, not just “collections”.
OneNote helps a lot with running a great, effective meeting too. If others have OneNote, you can use a live shared session to collaborate immediately on a very rich shared editing surface. You can use OneNote to capture notes of course, and those “notes” can even be a meeting recording in audio and video. Simply using OneNote to build an agenda and then sticking to it as you take notes and using tasks and flags makes the meeting go better.
I covered the list of top new features here when beta 1 launched, including OneNote Mobile for Smartphones and PocketPC. It has links to detailed blog entries on each area. Check it out!
Looking forward, we are thinking really broadly about the future of productivity and how OneNote can help people be more effective. We know that most people who use OneNote use it a lot – they live in it. To us this means that OneNote has hit a chord by matching more closely to the way people work than traditional tools do – so much day to day work is just dealing with information so this makes sense. I think you’ll all be pleasantly surprised as we get more clear on the plans for the future.
Finally, on a personal note, after five years almost to the day working on OneNote including the time before it had a team, I have accepted a new position in the company doing some exciting new work. You’ll hear more from me later about that, but for now you can be sure I’ll continue to stay in touch, writing about OneNote as I hear more stories about people using it. Keep in mind that there are now many people on the OneNote team blogging. Here are some samples you should check out: Dan, David, Olya, Owen and others.
I want to close by saying that it has been an honour and a privilege to work with the OneNote team over the years. The team is a model of customer engagement at Microsoft (literally!) and I am so proud of the dedication to delighting customers that the team has had from the start.