OneNote to be Distributed on Toshiba Laptops, Tablets
- By Scott Bekker
The new Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 will be installed on all Toshiba Corp. laptops and Tablet PCs -- a huge distribution boost for Microsoft's fledgling note taking application.
According to market research firm IDC, Toshiba shipped more than 3.4 million portable computers in 2002. "Distributing OneNote preinstalled on Toshiba's portable and Tablet PCs can provide the breadth of exposure that will be needed to generate momentum and effect change in the work habits of knowledge workers," IDC analyst Joshua Duhl said in a statement.
Toshiba laptops and tablets will be available with OneNote preinstalled starting with the Oct. 21 formal launch of Office 2003 under the Microsoft-Toshiba deal announced this week.
OneNote is a new note taking application with a tabbed interface and flexibility for users to place notes anywhere on the screen. It is especially optimized for tablet computers that allow users to write, diagram or sketch digitally with a stylus.
Most of the Toshiba systems that OneNote will go out on, however, will be laptops, where the OneNote benefits aren't quite as obvious. Still Microsoft seeks to lure laptop and desktop users with features of the product that include capturing typed text, digital images and audio notes. Designed to look like a notebook, the tabbed interface allows for flipping back and forth between sections and searching across several notebooks for keywords. The application will also be designed to launch at the last point where notes were taken.
Microsoft officials say OneNote could be the application that moves many users from paper-based note taking to digital note taking. Whether this movement occurs or not, Microsoft will also face internal competition from users who have grown accustomed to taking digital notes in Word.
"We see OneNote as an integral part of the Microsoft Office System -- almost indispensable among mobile workers, students and anyone else who takes notes," Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Productivity and Business Services at Microsoft, said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear how much Toshiba would add to the base price of its systems to include OneNote. Microsoft lists the price of OneNote at $199, although North American customers are eligible for a $100 mail-in rebate that brings that price down to $99. Microsoft Word, by comparison, retails for $229.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.