Microsoft delivers OneNote MX, first Metro style Office 2013 app

Microsoft delivers OneNote MX, first Metro style Office 2013 app

Summary: Microsoft's preview of Office 2013 offers hints of the Metro design style, but its apps are still firmly rooted in the desktop. Today's release of OneNote MX is the first true Metro app for Windows 8.

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TOPICS: Software, Microsoft
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One day after delivering the preview edition of Office 2013, Microsoft has released its first Metro style Office app designed specifically for use with Windows 8. OneNote MX shares the same files as the desktop version of OneNote, but uses the native Metro interface and features.

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OneNote MX appeared on the Windows Store this morning. After a typically quick installation on my test PC, the app found all the notebooks available in my connected SkyDrive account. Here's what a typical notebook looks like:

eb-onenote-mx-overview

OneNote MX includes a user interface innovation that hasn’t appeared in other Metro style apps yet: a radial menu that appears when tapped and allows you to paste content into a notebook, change bullet and table formatting, add tags, or insert a picture from the built in camera on a mobile device.

eb-onenote-mx-radial-menu2

Although this release isn’t labeled as a preview [*], it’s clearly lacking some important features, and there are broad hints in the interface that those features will be added in later revisions. For example, there’s no easy way to connect to notebooks stored on a SharePoint account. The OneNote Options pane includes an Accounts setting with text suggesting that you can use it to “add or remove the accounts where you want OneNote to sync and store notebooks.” Alas, there’s no obvious way to actually add or remove items from that list.

[Update: Although it's hard to find, this edition is indeed labeled as a preview. The word appears on the OneNote MX splash screen (which goes by pretty quickly) and in the detailed description of the app in the Windows Store.]

More crucially, OneNote MX doesn’t allow sharing of notebooks via the Share charm, nor does it accept shared content from other Metro style apps. So if you’re browsing a page in Internet Explorer and you want to send a snippet of text, a photo, or the entire page to a OneNote notebook, you have to copy the item, switch to OneNote, and then paste it using the radial menu. In the Metro vision, that sort of sharing between apps should be easy and automatic.

Despite those limitations, OneNote MX is a big step forward for Office. Presumably it’s just the first desktop app to be ported to the Metro style environment, with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint logical contenders to appear on the list next.

Update: Some readers have written to tell me they can't find the OneNote app in the Windows 8 Store. It should be visible with a search (from the store, use the Search charm to look for OneNote). If that fails, try this direct link: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/en-US/app/onenote-mx/f022389f-f3a6-417e-ad23-704fbdf57117.

Topics: Software, Microsoft

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22 comments
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  • Been 5 minutes since I installed it...

    I can't get enough of this Radial Menu. Kinda has a 'Star Trek' LCARS computer feel to it. I think Microsoft has a killer app here for Windows 8.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Been 5 minutes since I installed it...

      The future is fast approaching! I'm so hyped.
      G'Dammit!
  • No share charm???

    "OneNote MX doesn’t allow sharing of notebooks via the Share charm, nor does it accept shared content from other Metro style apps"

    Boo. I assumed that the whole point of providing OneNote as a Win8 app was so that it could be used with the share charm - enthusiasm deflated!!!
    jamiet
    • ...

      This leaves the door wide open for Evernote IMO
      jamiet
      • Evernote got yanked from the store for some reason.

        Not that it really matters. The RT app was as useless as useless can be. The desktop app is still much more powerful.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
        • ...

          really? That's a shame. here's hoping it get yanked cos they're building something better. Evernote and OneNote are a perfect match for the Share charm.
          jamiet
          • Same here.

            I think Evernote and OneNoteMX could be Metro killer apps. Hoping to see it back in the store soon.
            The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • @jamiet

      I'm confident that the lack of "share" is just a factor of OneNoteMX being an early beta release and that this capability will follow shortly, along with improved integration with SharePoint, etc.
      bitcrazed
      • ...

        yeah, I think so too.
        jamiet
    • No share charm, yet.

      of course you do realize it's still an "app preview"?
      G'Dammit!
  • Next up...

    ... I would love to see a Word Metro app with the Radial Menu. Maybe by late next year?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Are these apps any more secure...

    than the widgets that Microsoft says to stop using immediately because you can drive a mack truck through their security?
    Tony Burzio
    • ...

      don't think so. You probably shouldn't use them. In fact, probably best steer clear of the whole world wide web for the foreseeable future.
      jamiet
    • Yes

      These are written in managed code and use the WinRT APIs, which are highly locked down.

      Gadgets run on the desktop in an unmanaged environment.
      Ed Bott
      • Re:

        They're also sandboxed if I'm not mistaken?
        G'Dammit!
  • This just may get me to use OneNote regularly

    I started learning the value of OneNote when it came as part of my phone. I've used it more in the last year than previous years combined. The Metro version looks like a great addition to Win 8, but Ed I agree with you that not having the share contract enabled is a major problem. Can we assume you've put in a call to your sources about whether that feature will be coming before general availability?
    cantbeme
  • Not Available

    I do not see OneNote MX in the Windows Store. Ofcourse it says I have an update available but there isn't anything in that list either. I'm running Win8 on my Acer W500, does OneNote MX have a screen resolution requirement?
    clcrockett
    • Look under "Productivity" for OneNote

      Search for "OneNote" in Windows Store does not work, but I found the application listed under "Productivity" and installed it from there.

      OneNote MX is excellent! I got that Wow feeling...

      I hope Microsoft will make Word MX, Excel MX, Powerpoint MX too. :-)

      (MX = Metro eXperience)
      reidar76
  • It IS a preview

    Ed, the splash screen for OneNote MX very clearly identifies this as a preview application.
    rwgunther
  • Ink Support?

    Does it support Ink (Pen/Drawing Input) capabilities of traditional Windows Tablet PC's? If so, then it's already superior to previous mobile efforts. If not, I'll stick to the "Desktop" edition, thanks.
    GoodThings2Life