Office 12 Note-Taking App Gets Collaborative

Microsoft's OneNote 12 will feature new collaboration and search capabilities, according to details from corporate bloggers. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft is revealing, piece by piece, some of the new features that will be in the next versions of the products that comprise the Office 12 family.

Company officials are sharing a surprising amount, via their blogs, especially about the note-taking program, OneNote.

One of the biggest changes that can be expected in OneNote 12 is support for multiple notebooks, allowing the program to be used by small and medium groups, not just individuals.

Tentatively called "shared notebooks," the new SharePoint-based OneNote 12 feature will be designed to allow users to come and go as they please; work by themselves; or work with a limitless number of people in a group.

And shared notebook users will be able to work online or offline, according to the Weblog of Chris Pratley, program manager of OneNote.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about Microsofts rollout of new SharePoint applications.

Pratley said the new feature is not merely a wiki.

"A wiki still forces you to get a write lock on an article or page unless you want to deal with the risk of it getting modified while you are making your changes," Pratley blogged.

"Wikis do not support offline—thats a killer benefit and in fact the really hard part. Not to mention that the OneNote writing surface is much richer than a wiki: pictures, annotations, drawings, ink, embedded documents, etc."

Owen Braun, lead program manager of OneNote, noted that adding support for multiple notebooks in OneNote 12 helped address more than one concern expressed by users.

"It gradually became clear that multiple notebooks could actually solve a number of user problems at once: (1) they could, obviously, satisfy the folks that just wanted multiple notebooks; (2) they could provide a clear boundary between sections that were shared and those that werent; (3) they could make it clearer where you were, relative to folders; and (4) they could cut down on the incidence of long, scrolling lists of sections," Braun blogged.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead the full story on Microsoft Watch: Microsoft OneNote 12 Details Emerge