Microsofts Sexy New App

OneNote, a Microsoft Office application, is designed to let users more easily store, navigate and search personal or business notes.

LAS VEGAS—In a preview to Bill Gates much anticipated keynote address here at Comdex 2002, Microsoft Corp. executives briefed the media on a new application for capturing and organizing notes.

Called OneNote, the Microsoft Office application is designed to let users more easily store, navigate and search personal or business notes, according to Jeff Raikes, group vice president of productivity and business services at the Redmond, Wash., software developer.

"Note-taking as a metaphor has been relatively underserved in software," Raikes said to an intimate group of press here.

According to Raikes, 26 percent to 30 percent of users surveyed admitted to having to spend time after taking the time to take notes re-keying them into a word processing document. After that, users are generally challenged to remember where certain notes or files are once theyre inputted.

"OneNote is one location to bring together all your note-taking," he said.

One unique feature is a vertical list of files that a user can scroll over to see whats inside.

"Its the ability to visually recognize your notes," according to Chris Pratley, a group program manager at Microsoft.

In addition, notes are automatically saved in the structure it was left in.

The application is just the latest example of Microsofts three-pronged business approach, which calls for serving a broader audience, helping customers realize the business value of digital tools, and creating value through digital tools.

"We recently introduced XDocs," Raikes said. "We want to help people deliver on the value of paperless workflow centered around XML. We think this will be a major area of growth for the next decade. XML-based workflow. Another area extremely exciting is that of note-taking."

But thats not all. The company is working to incorporate audio tape syncing with the application.

The software is scheduled to ship within Office in mid-2003, but wont need Office to run.