Office 11 sings a new note

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Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates has unveiled OneNote, a new Microsoft Office 11 family member that takes advantage of the Tablet PC's handwriting-recognition and digital-drawing features but works well with any kind of computer and a variety of input types.

OneNote will let Office 11 users capture, record, organise, search, and reuse information in several formats - voice, digital ink, and standard typewritten notes - and keep the information in one place.

"Note-taking is a highly personal process that has not been well supported by computer software," said Jeff Raikes, Microsoft's group vice president of productivity and business services. "OneNote complements individual styles for capturing and organising thoughts. It pairs the flexibility of a paper notebook with the organisational efficiency of digital content. By creating new applications such as OneNote, we are keeping the Microsoft Office family fresh and making strides to meet our goal of improving information-worker productivity."

OneNote features a tabbed UI that works like a loose-leaf binder, as well as the usual complement of Office toolbars and other tools. Unlike document-based applications, OneNote doesn't require users to manually save information; instead, the application auto-saves on the fly and brings up the last workspace when it's restarted. OneNote will be available as part of Office 11, which is due in mid-2003.

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