The Real Reason Microsoft is Porting OneNote to the Mac: An Apple Acquisition

The Verge has reported that Microsoft is planning on releasing OneNote for the Mac. While Evernote is certainly a target, I think there’s more to the story than that.

There are also rumors of iOS 8 containing a note-taking application. How this app differs from the built-in iOS Notes app is not clear, but it may have a lot to do with this acquisition by Apple: 

http://9to5mac.com/2013/12/23/apple-likely-acquired-mapping-firm-broadmap-location-infused-evernote-competitor-catch/

Catch is pointed out to be an Evernote competitor, but the article above notes that Catch had an enterprise component that even Apple employees used.* 

With updates to iWork coming over the next couple of years–and the iWork apps sharing the same functionality across iOS and OS X–I think it’s pretty clear that Catch will be turned into more of a OneNote competitor than an Evernote competitor (or, of course, a competitor to both).

I blogged a few months ago about how I thought the Bento database app was discontinued because it will probably rise out of the ashes and become the database component of iWork. Then Apple will have a full complement of apps on iOS and OS X that compete with Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access. All that Apple needs to do is make their intra-app JavaScript scripting engine into something a user can tap into, and iWork’s Numbers and Bento spreadsheet and database apps become much more useful and much better replacements for desktop versions.

With rumors of an iPad Pro (or an ARM-based MacBook Air) coming in 2015, this gives Apple a complete enterprise hardware and software solution for competing with PCs running Office. And with iOS, OS X, and iWork all being free, it’s potentially a cheaper solution for enterprises.

 

*–Catch may have been turned into the TextEdit app mentioned at 9to5Mac: http://9to5mac.com/2014/03/13/ios-8-apple-works-to-further-push-icloud-as-the-future-of-the-ios-file-system/ . Otherwise, I’m not convinced that 9to5Mac has the real purpose of TextEdit on iOS correct: I mean, why have an app the only purpose of which is to read text files in the cloud?–Especially when it’s clear that apps shared across iOS and OS X will all share the same functionality and be written by the same teams at Apple? (http://9to5mac.com/2014/03/13/ios-8-apple-works-to-further-push-icloud-as-the-future-of-the-ios-file-system/) Something’s missing in that story.

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2 thoughts on “The Real Reason Microsoft is Porting OneNote to the Mac: An Apple Acquisition

  1. Guy says:

    Unless Apple moves the entire Mac line to ARM, there won’t be a MacBook Air that is ARM-based. I can see Mac-like features being adapted by iOS (like a simplified folder structure or a mouse-like icon or making it finally multi-user friendly) especially in light of a larger iPad (which would compell me to finally replace my 3rd gen 64GB iPad), but Apple won’t support multiple processor families so different like X86 and ARM

    • I think a line of inexpensive laptops based on ARM is inevitable. They may not be called Macs; I’m not sure about branding. By relying on their own chips (A8? A9?), Apple won’t have to pay the Intel tax, and can better differentiate it’s own laptops from other companies. With all PCs running identical Intel chips, there’s no way to differentiate your product based on CPU.

      In addition to branding, another unknown is whether an ARM-based laptop will run OS X or whether it’ll run iOS with a non-touch based UI. Both OS X and iOS are based on the same Foundation code.

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