My first steps with Onenote
Summary: Little things count. If you make a time limited test version, don’t piss me of by demanding a direct internet registration to unlock the beta! Things like this will just speed up the process of me joining the lines of Open Source development – even on my beloved applications.
As new tablet owner, I of course am looking into software to make my life easier. Onenote and Evernote are both mentioned as ‘the’ applications for using your tablet instead of dozens of postits.
While Evernote does have a free version, I have to admit, that I am not into the way it presents notes. So I thought I would give Onenote a quick look, even thought it costs some money. Well, if it really helps me getting organized, it is worth the money. Besides, the inked enabled version of Evernote does cost money too.
So I did get my key from Microsoft for my test download, downloaded it and installed it on the tablet. It took me about 40 seconds to get highly disappointed with this software (if you would like to compare it: I am still angry about that education pack thing, but this is just plain annoying). Why 40 seconds?
Because that is about the time it took me from starting the software, to going through the first steps of the flash based tutorial (getting bored with that after 30 seconds, yeah, will look into that later, want to do notes now!) to see a message, that I have to activate my trial version – which I already had to get a key for and pay with my email address.
Which means nothing else then ‘we want to check who installed and used my software’. As my fritzbox is not up and running, I don’t have any net connectivity of my tablet at the moment and I though “it says it won’t work with all features, but that is okay, I can active it later, it will not be that critical’.
Me naive thing. The 38th second ended, when I was eager just to jot something down to find – nothing happening. I was expecting to be able just to start as in journal just to paint my notes. From what I figure from my quick looking around and testing, it seems to me, that I can’t use ink in Onenote testing without activation? Please tell me, that I overlooked something?
Taking a look at the available possibilities which are not greyed out, I am highly set back. We are talking about a 60 day version of Onenote, which wants a registration and sends out who knows what as data, just to be able to use a time limited software? Are you kidding me?
As it seems now, I will only have 55 days for testing, because from what it looks now, I don’t see it happen for me to have my internet access of my tablet running in the next days.
Which sets me off for different reasons. If they make such an effort to not allow me to experience this test software, I have to wonder what they will send out back to Redmond from my PC. And second, what if I don’t have an internet access on my machine at all? I can’t test this test version. Even if I am to ‘activate’ it, it leaves me wondering, what kind of control they think they will get of me and my data.
And to be honest: The more they try to get to my data (of course, everything only for my own good!) like
- protect me from pirated software (thanks, I know where I bought mine)
- making sure it is still my copy (ooh! I forgot that I might have installed a new version!)
- demand of me to activate my hardware combination (what do they need that for again?)
- having basic featured locked out of a TESTVERSION unless I give them what data
(and everything under very ‘interesting’ U.S. laws) I only can imagine, they think of me of something they have control over.
Let’s see: They want my email address and name. They want this version activated. It is likely that I will install my bought version over it if I buy it. Which probably also wants to be ‘activated’ – and is easily trackable then too. As this version is connected with my name and my email address, other things on my computer are tied into that as well.
But of course, nobody has plans for exploiting that and all your data belongs to^w^w is safe with us. Would you like direct access to my bank account too, so you don’t have to bother with me still hanging onto the Office 2000 and just collect the money from me? How about I visit you (on my own cost of course) and give you a full body scan, finger prints and whatever else?
Hello McFly? This is me, these are my data, this is my computer. I am in control and even though you do not seem to like it, I am way to smart for you and aware of what you are doing. Yes, you can try and sell me the DRM in Vista as improvement, and it may be improvement to someone – but not to me.
Seeing the development of the OS and the Office software especially over the last decade (I am in contact with MS products since nearly 20 years now), especially regarding my interests versus Hollywood and other interests, MS is loosing me. Big time. And I am a ‘fan girl’.
Just to give you one example: I absolutely hate the keyboard settings of Open Office and it drives me nuts to use it. Go on with those ‘enhancements’ instead of real functionality and I will personally create the correct keyboard shortcut map like in Excel. And switch to it.
I am giving seminars from time to time, due to my tight schedule not as often as I would like to do. It is Powerpoint and Excel for small biz owners at the moment. They use the functions which have been available oh since Office 97. Go on with your “Activiation is good for you!” and I will translate the sheets of my seminar to “How to be successfull in your business with Open Office” without any regret.
Activating Windows, restricting display only to ‘certified allowed’ monitors, introduced in Vista and through the backdoor of updates also in Windows XP? Hello Lindows, hello KDE.
As you can guess from my Excel statement above, KDE and the other applications tick me off also – not efficient keyboard support, lack of consistent UI, inconsistent throughout applications, etc, etc. Guess what I have been doing for a decade also now: Testing the UI of a software and giving feedback. Bugging the authors to implement those changes. Marking inconsistencies. Given, I come from a very special angle on those testings of mine, but most of the time, people come back to me and ask me to do more testing once they go over the shock of what I told them I did not like.
Combine my (already built up) frustration about those little things like that one above with Onenote on a bigger scale, which a deep knowledge and understanding of how the main Office applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) work from a users perspective, which function they need and how they expect it to be delivered if they come from Microsoft Office.
Not today, maybe not next year but after that, I am farely sure, that I will be out there and help Open Source developers make their applications so people can use them.
Without activation on basic features, without having to pay much money, without having to take being treated as a dumb customer and a pirate.
Will I activate Onenote? Probably. Will I buy it? Also, as it seems from a quick look this could be a helpful application at the moment. Will I show that off to other people? Yes. Will I encourage them to buy it too? Maybe to yes.
Will I make sure, that they also get to hear my opinion about Microsoft treating me (and them) as thiefs, as dumb customers who will like sheep just deliver their data and not think about it for one second? And what I think of that? Of course I will.
This is a game, and not a one sided one. Will it matter what I think of this? Judge yourself. Over the last years I would estimate that I had some hundred clients asking me for advice of which software to use. I say, they buy (if they can afford it.) I am what I call a multiplier. Not on a big scale of course, but still.
At the moment I am strongly considering going more into the consulting business, which unfortunatly I have not enough time for at the moment. Which would mean more clients, of whom some will ask me about “what software to buy, which os to use, which office software”.
And why all that? Because of a small thing like “you need to activate this 60 day limited test version of Onenote, before you can lay your hand onto the whole functionality of this software. Which you are likely to buy anyway. And the main feature why you probably installed this software for testing, aka the ink feature, well, you will only get this when you activate too.”.
Even is I missed the point where I can do ink with this software without activating it, I don’t care.
I had a pile of notes I wanted to put into this software this afternoon, which still lie on my desk.
Because I was eager to test out this software, happy with joy, but had no internet connection.
Little things count. And they do sum up to very big sums …