Microsoft unveils OneNote for Metro environment

While Office 2013 will still be based in the traditional desktop environment, albeit with a Metro-style interface, the company did show off an Office application that will make use of the new Metro environment in Windows 8 and Windows RT, OneNote.

During its Office 2013 event, Microsoft showed off OneNote in the new environment, along with many of its new features. One new feature was a radial menu, seen below, which will provide tablet users with an easier navigation method. Users can touch and hold a spot on a touchscreen device to open the menu, providing options such as font and color settings. The new OneNote app will still feature support for a traditional mouse and keyboard as well as stylus-based input. Other new features include one-touch sharing and searching options. As with the desktop Office applications Microsoft showed off today, the OneNote app for the new Metro environment will also allow touch-friendly zooming features.

A desktop version of OneNote will still be included in Office 2013, meaning two versions of the program will be available. The news of two versions of OneNote shouldn't be too shocking, as Microsoft previously launched a versions of OneNote designed specifically for a tablet interfaces when it launched iOS and Android versions of the program.

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Interesting to see how much functionality carries over from the desktop version - tons of keyboard shortcuts work the same, even complex stuff that there's otherwise no UI for in this version, like entering equations with Alt + "=" and LaTeX notation. I guess they reused pretty much all non-UI code from the desktop.

Unfortunately, pretty much the only reason I'd use this version on a non-tablet is for Share target support, which it doesn't have.

The UI looks good to me. I just hope editing/style options are simple, office 12 just got silly, hidden all over the place

strelok1911 said,
Is this metro app in the Office 15 preview?

It doesn't appear to be. Or maybe it is installed only if it detects a touch enabled device. I installed the suite from Technet, and it's not in the install, just the desktop version.

The radial dial is a nice feature that shows how you can add functionality without needing to fill up the screen with chrome like a menu bar or even a ribbon etc. It also makes sense that OneNote be the first app they ported over to WinRT/metro. I expect the next one down the list will either be Outlook or Word. Either way the basic set will all make their way over in time.

GP007 said,
The radial dial is a nice feature that shows how you can add functionality without needing to fill up the screen with chrome like a menu bar or even a ribbon etc. It also makes sense that OneNote be the first app they ported over to WinRT/metro. I expect the next one down the list will either be Outlook or Word. Either way the basic set will all make their way over in time.

I can see them doing both Outlook AND Word at the same time (the two applications share a common core).

I can't side-by-side Outlook 2010 and 2013 - however, I CAN side-by-side the two versions of Word.

GP007 said,
The radial dial is a nice feature that shows how you can add functionality without needing to fill up the screen with chrome like a menu bar or even a ribbon etc. It also makes sense that OneNote be the first app they ported over to WinRT/metro. I expect the next one down the list will either be Outlook or Word. Either way the basic set will all make their way over in time.

Yes, OneNote had to be the first because it's primarily designed to be used with a pen and finger. You write with the pen and pan with your fingers. It works really good on the existing tablet PCs, I expect the metro version to be pretty awesome.

The next version of office will probably have Word, Excel, and Outlet ported if not more. Word and Excel are not as necessary to have in Metro because you'll be using them with a keyboard and mouse primarily, so you'll want the desktop versions.

The new radial menu is nifty. Reminds me of the rumours from years ago that MS was at one time working on a sort of radial Start menu

Sraf said,
The new radial menu is nifty. Reminds me of the rumours from years ago that MS was at one time working on a sort of radial Start menu

It is very useful in Autodesk products. Nice to see it implemented here. I hope we see it in Word though, as I would love to see the ribbon minimized most of the time.

ccoltmanm said,

It is very useful in Autodesk products. Nice to see it implemented here. I hope we see it in Word though, as I would love to see the ribbon minimized most of the time.

I bet the metro version of word will also use the radial dial is it's main UI command option as appose to a ribbon. Though they could do the ribbon as a drop down menu from the top of the screen. Sorta like the way metro IE10 drops down the tabs from the top. I think both ways work since I doubt you could put enough commands into the radial dial. It's very good for the basic stuff people use the most though.

Sraf said,
The new radial menu is nifty. Reminds me of the rumours from years ago that MS was at one time working on a sort of radial Start menu

The problem with that radial menu is it seems like it'll cover up anything in the upper right corner of your document... not good.

Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull
Yeah they should add fireworks and all kinds of useless animations and textures because that's just what you need when you're working!

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too

dull /= usefull

I like the design. Can't wait to play with it. I do like Office 2010's design too though.

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users

Yes, because when I am trying to concentrate on being creative when writing my documents, I want flashy graphics to distract me. Maybe we need some fireworks explosion animations, ooh, or maybe the Apple time machine star field animation. That will really make it look more exciting, and help me create my document faster and better.

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too

The focus should be on the content of your document, NOT the UI surrounding it.

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too


I think that's got something to do with the camera that took the pic - looks like it's a lot darker in the pic than in real life

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too

Wow you struck a nerve, lol, less distractions = more productivity

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too


You're out of your mind. Office 13 looks to visually best all other office versions and I really love that radial wheel!

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too


It looks much better live than in a screenshot.

TCLN Ryster said,

The focus should be on the content of your document, NOT the UI surrounding it.

But with the lack of UI, so many common controls seem to be hidden! I'll have to play around with it when it's released.

PmRd said,
Yeah they should add fireworks and all kinds of useless animations and textures because that's just what you need when you're working!

To me it important. Needs to be visually pleasing as well as designed well. If not might as well just use command line. Now I will not hold judgement but ON10 was perfect for me and I thought it was able to be used on tablets (computer) since it had good handwriting. Still....would like to see something for todays tablets on android and ios not just the win rt.

moloko said,

To me it important. Needs to be visually pleasing as well as designed well. If not might as well just use command line. Now I will not hold judgement but ON10 was perfect for me and I thought it was able to be used on tablets (computer) since it had good handwriting. Still....would like to see something for todays tablets on android and ios not just the win rt.

User interfaces are/should be more than just a visually pleasing overlay to command line. The point of this UI is to be more productive when using a touch device.

Every other company holds onto its own products far more than Microsoft does, and in doing so locks in users, why give all your best products to the competition, especially when Office is the most demanded/used software in the world (ignoring browsers). Apple only give you iTunes (which is to lock people into the iPhone/iPad/etc.) and Safari which isn't even worth mentioning.

wotsit said,
Damn that UI looks dull

New menu looks really interesting though - getting Office to work on touch devices is key, although I hope Office 15 offers decent ehancements for desktop users too

Not sure what you were expecting? Metro is about the content not the UI. It's purposely simple and minimalist to emphasize the content rather then a fancy UI (hense why things like window chrome or other useless eye candy is disallowed in Metro). I'm no fan of Metro but gotta give MS props for sticking to their guns on this and following through on it in everything they are doing now