Microsoft is killing the classic OneNote desktop app

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With the release of Office 2019 later this year, Microsoft will kill its desktop OneNote app. As you may know, there are desktop and UWP (Universal Windows Platform) versions available, but OneNote for Windows 10 (the Store app) will survive.

The official announcement states the following.

Beginning with the launch of Office 2019 later this year, OneNote for Windows 10 will replace OneNote 2016 as the default OneNote experience for both Office 365 and Office 2019. We’re no longer adding new features to OneNote 2016.

Users who prefer the classic app should keep the OneNote 2016 app. According to Microsoft, the app will continue receive updates and fixes till October 2025.

OneNote 2016 is optionally available for anyone with Office 365 or Office 2019, but it will no longer be installed by default. If you currently use OneNote 2016, you won’t notice any changes when you update to Office 2019. We’ll continue to offer support, bug fixes, and security updates for OneNote 2016 for the duration of the Office 2016 support lifecycle, which runs through October 2020 for mainstream support and October 2025 for extended support.

Microsoft recommends switching to the OneNote Store app because of better reliability, performance, and battery life. Also, it is getting a number of features which won't come to the classic OneNote 2016 version.  Some of the features are listed below:

  • Insert and search for tags: OneNote 2016's popular tags feature is coming to OneNote for Windows 10! Soon you'll be able to insert, create, and search for custom tags, making it easy to mark key information and find it later.
  • View and edit files: See live previews of Office files in OneNote, work together on attached documents, and save space in your notebooks with cloud files. You'll get all the benefits of saving a file on OneDrive with the context and convenience of an attachment or preview on a OneNote page.
  • Additional Class Notebook features: The full slate of Class Notebook features available in the add-on for OneNote 2016 will be available in OneNote for Windows 10 this summer. Best of all, you no longer need to install a separate add-in—it's all built-in!

Finally, the OneNote Store app comes with a faster synchronization engine, so it will deliver your changes much faster between your devices.

Source: William Devereux

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

3 thoughts on “Microsoft is killing the classic OneNote desktop app”

  1. What!? No! This is insane! UWP OneNote is still incredibly inferior, does not support offline .one files, lacks proper office and file integration, etc!

    1. The UWP version lacks features such as Audio Search—introduced in OneNote 2007—which analyzes and indexes embedded audio and video files, which allows users to instantly search for spoken words in audio recordings or video recordings.

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