Chris Pratley talks aboutOneNote Shared Sessions. A while back, I wrote about the differences between OneNote and Notebook Layout view in Word. Well, this is one of those areas where OneNote shines, and Word doesn’t. Unfortunately, Word’s design doesn’t lend itself to the kind of transacted changes to a document that would make this possible, which is one of the reasons the OneNote team decided not to do this as a view in Win Word.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and there are two reasons for this. First, the Mac already has a collaborative editor: SubEthaEdit. It’s a very cool product, which means that adding that kind of functionality to Word is less of a value proposition on the Mac than it is relative to Win Office.
The other reason is that a large number of Mac Office users collaborate in different ways than do Win Office users. Think of a graphic artist, usually someone who works as an independent contractor for a number of clients. These user collaborate with clients in more asynchronous ways. Word’s Notebook Layout view, however, still gives these users a tool to replace many of the sticky notes they have stuck to their monitors.
Despite that, I’m going to be watching the comments on Chris’ post. Not to say that the comments I’ve received about what not to do aren’t helpful, but getting users to tell us what they are doing, particularly from a birds-eye view rather than a feature-level view, really helps us to figure out what we should do.