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Is the original OneNote desktop app doomed?

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Posted by Lothar Scholz
Aug 29, 2017 at 06:51 PM


I’m adding more Doom and Gloom:
Microsoft is doomed!

At least it is for me. I thought after removing mobile first they got back to improve my workstation desktop. But now all they want do is cloud and i’m not following here either. And when i see what nice features MacOS is shipping now with natural language processing etc. all of them local i can only cry how much of a cluster fuck developing modern apps is with the terrible MS systems.


Posted by Paul Korm
Aug 30, 2017 at 12:39 PM


If you don’t like cloud-centric computing in Windows you won’t like it in macOS either.  In iOS 11 and High Sierra iCloud will be more pervasive than ever.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Aug 31, 2017 at 10:02 AM


Hm, I’m not so sure. I get the impression that Microsoft really have gone all-in for the Totally Cloud-Enabled approach to pretty much everything. Whereas on the Mac, there is still a fairly clear differentiation between apps that do use iCloud and apps that don’t. I agree that the number of apps that do is steadily increasing, however.

On the other hand, this integration is one of the strongest things about the Apple platform. And it runs much more smoothly than Microsoft’s equivalent services. The ease with which you can transfer stuff from one device to another in Apple World is truly astounding, and iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra promise to further improve this ease of exchange.

Just to give non-Mac users an idea: I have three Macs, an iPad Mini and a couple of iPhones (one for international use). They all talk to each other, and I can make calls and even FaceTime calls from a Mac just as easily as I can make them from one of the iPhones. Messages all pop up on various devices (I know some people find this irritating - personally, I love it) so I can respond to people from any device (if I feel like it; I continue to resist this Gen Z affliction whereby people appear to believe that if they don’t *immediately* respond to every single message either they will vanish in a puff of social irrelevance or their unfortunate correspondent will have a nervous breakdown). The best iCloud apps sync immediately, with very little delay (ironically, Apple’s iWork apps are the slowest here, although the built-in apps like Notes, Contacts, Calendar etc. are pretty much instantaneous), and the best developers (Bear, Readdle, Glam) are already making the most of this speed. Those Mac/iOS users who are more social media-focused than I am (my daughter springs to mind) use their devices to post up annotated photos and other clever little constructions in a matter of seconds, transferring them between multiple social media platforms. In this sense, computing with Apple is genuinely fast, fun and (almost) seamless. I’ve had wonderful moments with Microsoft machines that have been almost as good - and truly ghastly moments when nothing seems to talk to anything. Now, my occasional dabbling with Windows 10 is becoming more and more sporadic - there really isn’t any comparison, no matter how much Microsoft may insist there is.

I should stress that I’m deeply suspicious of the motives of all these computing giants and have no particular cognitive bias - i.e. I don’t believe Apple is “wonderful” simply because they’re Apple or because Steve Jobs is somehow mythic. But I am impressed when a company manages to achieve a tightly integrated ecosphere that actually works. The company that had the greatest opportunity to do so before Apple was Sony, but they blew it, despite their full-spectrum coverage of consumer (and business) electronics. They suffered (still do, I believe) from the silo effect so endemic to large companies; Microsoft did the same until Satya Nadella started dismantling the barriers. All credit to Apple for, on the whole and despite their vast size, managing to avoid this issue (except perhaps in the realm of TV…)

Sorry, just having a philosophical moment there. Back to business…


Posted by Paul Korm
Aug 31, 2017 at 11:14 AM


I agree with everything Bill wrote.

I also think iCloud is far less transparent—from a “where’s my stuff?” perspective—than it could be.  Less than, say, Dropbox or even OneDrive.  Getting into the ecosystem Bill delineated is easy.  Getting out?  Not sure.  For documents - developers either make our files obvious on Mac in the iCloud Drive folder, or they shuttle them away into obscurely named and difficult-to-locate folders inside ~/Library or /Library.  I’m old-school Boomerish.  I want to know where every bit is all the time, and I prefer obvious file hierarchies.  That’s never been the Windows way, and it’s not the OS X / macOS way either.  Increasingly so.  So in a nutshell that’s my beef.  I like the features, Handoff, Universal Clipboard, and sync, etc., that Bill describes.  I just don’t like the secrecy behind it.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Sep 1, 2017 at 08:24 AM


Yes, that’s an entirely fair point. I’m hoping that the wonders of iCloud will be revealed in all their glory with the advent of the “Files” app to iOS 11 and the opening-up of iCloud to sharing (à la Dropbox) on macOS (High Sierra). Once iCloud is easier to see/deal with, I too will be much happier relying on it!



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