180-day free trial of Microsoft’s OneNote 2003

By Christine Won

Microsoft is offering Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 as a free 180-day trial for students at the University as a part of an exclusive campus representative program offered to only 49 other universities nationwide.

“It’s the 21st century 3-ring binder,” said Ben Sturner, spokesman for Microsoft. “Technology is here right now for note-taking. It’s a digital notebook. It’s pretty new, and not everybody knows about it.”

Mr. Youth, a college marketing agency, is the youth marketing firm that handles campus promotions for Microsoft OneNote. The goal is to increase awareness about OneNote among college campuses.

Mila Gumin, junior in Business, and Zachary Schellhardt, senior in LAS, are the University’s representatives who were flown to the Microsoft Corp. headquarters in Redmond, Wash., for an extensive training session.

The campus representatives’ main goal is to advocate 1,000 downloads by Dec. 31.

After the 180-day free trial, University students will be able to purchase OneNote for $49 instead of the $100 retail price, and it will purchase a license for three installments for cases where the buyer has a laptop and a desktop and needs to install OneNote twice.

Gumin said she uses OneNote to create comprehensive study guides for exams or to take notes in class.

Her favorite feature is the screenshot where she can take a screenshot of a Web site and transfer it into her notes, she said.

Schellhardt further emphasized the capabilities of OneNote that Word or any other Microsoft Office program doesn’t have.

With OneNote, students can copy and paste PDF files, PowerPoint slides or web pages and write on it.

“OneNote is like a blank canvas,” Schellhardt said. “You can mark it up all you want and later organize it by lecture or class.”

Another feature Schellhardt mentioned was the audio recording device that records as students take notes.

So if a student is going over his or her notes and something doesn’t make sense, he or she can click audio, and it goes to what the professor was saying in that moment, he said.

OneNote also allows a shared session, which is helpful for group projects so people don’t have to huddle around one computer, Schellhardt said. Basically, each student can work on OneNote and all the group members would be writing on one page and be able to see what each other is writing.

“We find that students who use OneNote love OneNote,” said Alex Robinson, product manager, in a press release. “But because the product is still so new, most people don’t know about it yet. That’s why we’ve created the Campus Representative Program and why we’ve made this special 180-day trial available exclusively to students.”

OneNote allows students to drag pictures, record audio, flag important things, write on top of imported Word and PowerPoint and do other various organizational tactics that distinguish it from other Microsoft Office products.

“It’s revolutionary note-taking organizational software that is being penetrated in the business community right now,” said Brandon Evans, director of national account services at Mr. Youth. “We want to get more students involved because OneNote is going to be the next great program. All your information can be stored in one place; it makes life easier.”

“Students now carry around pen and paper,” Sturner said. “Hopefully, OneNote will change things.”