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In an interview with CNN Money last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called out OneNote 2010 as one of the things in Microsoft Office 2010 that he's most enthusiastic about.
When asked how some of the big decisions are made when putting together a suite of products like Office 2010, Ballmer acknowledged that he has a lot of control, but credited his teams just the same. "Look, I give a lot of input. If there's something I insist on, people will do it. But we have a lot of really smart and talented people, so my job is to give a little insight, but not try to micro-manage the details."
One of the big decisions in this release was to include OneNote in all of the Office 2010 suites, not just as part of the Home and Student edition or as a standalone product.
"I think note-taking is one of the most important things that people do," Ballmer said in the CNN Money interview. "The thing I was most enthused about at the beginning and I remain enthused about is really making sure that this OneNote technology that really helps you take notes — notes on Web pages, notes to prepare for an interview like this — is broadly popularized. We want to really get it out there, particularly to students, for example."
Watch the video on CNN MoneySkip to about 1:35 into the video to hear Steve Ballmer's thoughts about OneNote.
It can take years for customers to discover the benefits of a new product in the Office family. Then there's the fact that few people really like change and most people will claim that they're "too busy" to learn new things. Even here at Microsoft, the first version of OneNote was largely a best-kept secret. It wasn't until OneNote 2007 came out that more and more product teams began to catch on.
Today, the various engineering teams at Microsoft routinely use shared OneNote notebooks to plan and execute each release and to collaborate with other groups. And it's not just happening here at Microsoft. Just last September, I chronicled on my old Nota Bene blog how Halo game developer Bungie has integrated OneNote into their own software development cycle.
Three years ago, I had the opportunity to co-interview Jeff Raikes, then-President of the Microsoft Business Division. Before he left the company to begin working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Jeff was perhaps the highest-ranking Microsoft executive to widely and publicly endorse OneNote every chance he got. We were so happy about his support back then that I wrote a column about the interview and later created a video demo to highlight the things he showed us. Both the article and the video continue to rank among the most successful content we've ever published.
Most executives have assistants who help them with things such as creating presentations, scheduling, or checking (and filtering) the deluge of mail that arrives in their Outlook inbox each day. But even at the executive level, note-taking is a very personal (and often confidential) task that can't always be delegated to an assistant.
Before OneNote, there was really nothing that offered such a unique combination of intuitive, electronic note-taking, easy researching, and total flexibility. OneNote's ease of use is the main reason why it's already a popular choice among students, teachers, home users and families, small business owners and entrepreneurs — and, increasingly, among high-powered executives.
-- Michael C. Oldenburg
Thank you so much for creating the Video Demo! That was very helpful for me - now I can see just how much I need to be using OneNote with my Outlook! It's given me some great ideas that should help me organize my life!
Thanks for your comment, Cindy. Glad you're finding the demo (and OneNote) useful!
NIce one, MO
Onenote is great to capture infomation from so many sources. What I cant figure out is how to send notes to word so that you can edit the text and format in word. Otherwise very impressed.
@Larry: Please excuse my delayed response to your comment. You can send a notes to Word by clicking File > Send > Send to Word. This is selection-based, so if you have anything selected, such as an image, a paragraph of text, or anything else, only that selected item will be sent to Word. If you have nothing in particular selected on the current page in OneNote and issue the command, the whole page will be sent to Word for editing. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment — I appreciate it!