Microsoft OneNote can help solve your math homework

The latest version includes a digital math tutor and playback for notes.

Just in time for back to school season, Microsoft has made a few slick updates to Office 365, intended to help users get more out of their pen-based digital notes. Building on the beta launch of Windows Ink, OneNote has added new ink effects, a replay feature and a new intelligent math coach that can help you solve handwritten equations.

While OneNote already comes with shape and handwriting recognition, the new math assistant takes inking one step further by converting a longhand equation into text and then highlighting the steps you need to solve it. Simply write out an equation in OneNote, circle it with the lasso and select which variable to solve for. From there, OneNote can walk you through the steps. Voila: suddenly all those FOIL method and PEMDAS mnemonics are obsolete.

On the other hand, if a class requires a more old-school teaching approach, OneNote now allows you to rewind and play back inked notes -- useful for following the pencil strokes in a sketch or reviewing step-by-step instructions. Rounding out the ink updates are a couple splashy new effects like rainbow, galaxy, gold and silver ink options that are great for artwork, but will likely drive a calculus professor up the wall.

Also in today's announcement: New support for Windows Information Protection in Office mobile apps, which allows users to separate "work" and "personal" data on their devices; Enhanced people experiences in the web version of Outlook; and new versions of Visio for the web and iPad.