Microsoft today released a new tool that will make it easier for users of Evernote’s note-taking service to make the transition to rival application OneNote, a part of the Microsoft Office suite. The “OneNote Importer tool,” as the software is called, aims to address the switching costs that can hold back users from making a move to a competing platform. Microsoft even goes for the hard sell here, reminding OneNote potential customers that the app is free on all devices, while Evernote Premium is a $50 per year product.
Of course, Microsoft didn’t point out that Evernote has a free tier.
But the company did jab at Evernote’s cost, saying that if you want to shell out $50 per year for office productivity software, you could just pay a little more ($70/year) for Office 365 Personal, which includes not only OneNote, but also Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
Unfortunately, the new migration utility doesn’t work on all platforms just yet. Microsoft says you’ll need a PC running Windows 7 or later in order to use the tool. However, once your Evernote notes are imported to OneNote, they will sync across to all your other devices – including Mac, iOS and Android. You’ll also want to have Evernote for Windows installed on that PC to make the transition process speedier.
However, the company added that a tool for Mac users is already in the works, and will be released in the “coming months.”
OneNote and Evernote are similar products in terms of their note-taking functionality. Microsoft’s product offers users a free-form canvas where you can mix text, images, documents, handwriting, audio, video and more, the company says. Meanwhile, Evernote offers tools for collecting media and storing it alongside text and other content, too, though it tends to be used more for things like checklists, and saving snippets from the web. Evernote has also has tried to transition more into the team collaboration space with features like work chat, and increased security for business users.
This competitive move comes at a time when there are concerns about Evernote’s future. The startup has seen a number of high-profile exits in recent months, including the loss of notable VPs in December that followed last year’s shifting of co-founder and CEO Phil Libin to Executive Chairman. Evernote also in 2015 restructured its staffing and killed off its Evernote Food, Skitch (except Skitch for Mac), Clearly and Pebble Watch apps. Just last month, it shut down its e-commerce efforts as well.
With the company in transition, Microsoft’s timing is apt – it can potentially target users concerned with Evernote’s stagnant state, and those worried about its longevity.