Microsoft's free OneNote vaults to top of Mac App Store chart

Also sponsors 'Save to OneNote' tool for Feedly's RSS service

Microsoft's OneNote jumped to the top of the free application chart on Apple's Mac App Store shortly after its Monday launch.

The new program, a first for OS X after years of availability on the Windows desktop, is a free download but licensed only for home and school use; by Microsoft's licensing agreement, businesses must purchase the application, either as a stand-alone for $70, or as part of Office 2013 or an Office 365 subscription plan.

OneNote supplanted Apple's OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks, the free operating system upgrade that debuted last October, in the No. 1 spot on the popularity chart within hours of its debut. Other Apple programs, ranging from iMovie (now No. 3) to GarageBand (No. 8), with the free iWork titles of Keynote, Numbers and Pages in between, were shoved down one place on the list by OneNote's rise.

Today, OneNote was highlighted on the Mac App Store home page, one of five apps touted by Apple but the only one marked as "Editor's Choice." The iOS versions of OneNote have never been recommended on the iPhone's and iPad's store, according to App Annie, a San Francisco app analytics firm.

App Annie's data also showed that OneNote led the free pack in an overwhelming majority of the country-specific markets it monitors. App Annie tracks the number of downloads for each app, but only the app's maker can view that data.

The quick climb of OneNote on OS X also spurred a burst of activity for the iOS versions, which rode the desktop application's coattails to jump from No. 26 on App Annie's U.S. Productivity chart on Sunday to No. 2 on Monday. In the U.S. Overall category, OneNote for iOS came out of nowhere -- in other words, not on the list -- to reach No. 71 on Monday and then No. 40 yesterday.

In other OneNote news, Feedly, the RSS service that claimed the top spot in that market after Google killed off its free Web-based RSS service, announced Tuesday that it had created a "Save to OneNote" button that lets users click once to save an article to Microsoft's note-taking and -recording program.

Although the feature will eventually be available only to customers who pay for Feedly Pro -- $5 per month or $45 annually -- all Feedly users, including those on the free plan, can access Save to OneNote until April 17.

"From now until April 17, Microsoft has graciously agreed to sponsor the feature on Feedly - which means it will be free for everyone for the next month," wrote Feedly's Josh Catone on Monday in a blog post.

Cyril Moutran, Feedly co-founder and head of product and strategy, declined to go into details of the company's partnership with Microsoft, but confirmed that the deal was part of a broader program Feedly has "in which companies can sponsor features on our platform for added exposure."

Moutran also said that Feedly and Microsoft collaborated on the Save to OneNote tool. "We worked with Microsoft engineers to integrate the Save to OneNote feature into Feedly and make it easy for Feedly Pro users to save content directly to their OneNote accounts," Moutran said in an email reply to questions Wednesday. "We utilized Microsoft's robust OneNote API [application programming interface], which is based on OAuth, REST and JSON, for the integration."

Feedly has a similar one-button link to Evernote, the popular note-taking application that OneNote appears to be gunning for. The Evernote connection is also available only to Pro customers.

"Feedly+Evernote is one of the most popular Feedly Pro features and will remain a Pro feature," said Moutran when asked whether the company had plans to push the tool into the free Feedly bucket, as it has at times done with other features.

OneNote for OS X can be downloaded from the Mac App Store; Feedly is available from a browser.

OneNote tops Mac App Store
Microsoft's OneNote jumped to the top of Apple's Mac App Store chart within hours of its Monday debut.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at  @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is

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