Some Overall Note-Taking Market Projections
Note-taking and personal information management tools may not currently have the same level of cachet as domains such as social networking, but Evernote and OneNote have huge user bases, and the number of people who can benefit from using tools in the note-taking category will continue to grow over time, especially as it becomes more common for people to use a mix of PC, tablet, and smartphone devices over the course of their daily activities.
The ongoing and intense competition between Evernote and OneNote will ensure that both products continue to evolve, although it's clear that the teams responsible for the offerings have some different priorities. I expect that both teams will eventually be compelled to add capabilities first pioneered in Lotus Notes, such as selective replication and more flexible and powerful templates and views, taking Evernote and OneNote further into domains once dominated by traditional desktop productivity applications and collaboration solutions.
Considering Evernote's large, rapidly expanding, and enthusiastic user base, along with the broader Evernote ecosystem of vendors, I wouldn't be surprised to see a super-sized vendor (such as Apple, Facebook, Google, or Salesforce.com) attempt to acquire Evernote, especially since all of those vendors could leverage Evernote to more aggressively compete with Microsoft.
I remain cautiously optimistic that Microsoft will deliver versions of OneNote for Mac OS and Android tablets; however, I suspect that Android tablets may present a competitive dilemma for Microsoft as it prepares to launch Windows 8, including Windows 8 tablets that will compete aggressively with the iPad and Android tablets.
Peter O'Kelly is an independent software industry analyst/consultant focused on topics at the intersection of collaboration and information architecture. He has worked in product and strategy roles for Lotus Development Corp., IBM, Groove Networks, Macromedia, and Microsoft, and he previously worked as an analyst/consultant for Burton Group and the Patricia Seybold Group. Read Peter's blog at pbokelly.blogspot.com.