OneNote: Microsoft reveals future plans

[German]Microsoft has announced its future plans for the development of the office application OneNote at a session during the Ignite 2019 conference. There are a few surprises, we learned this week.


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The notebook application OneNote was Microsoft’s stepchild, who should be thrown out of Office. The development of the Win32 application OneNote 2016 was frozen and interested users were harassed in Microsoft Office 2019 with the Windows 10 OneNote app. In the meantime, the Microsoft management seems to have recognized its mistakes regarding OneNote. At Ignite 2019 there was a big surprise and a roadmap for the future development of OneNote.

Surprise #1: Support extension for OneNote 2016

The first big surprise came at the beginning of the Ignite 2019 conference. The Windows application OneNote 2016 will get support until 2025. I have disclosed the details in the blog post Support until 2025 for OneNote 2016. There was also a hint that they wanted to maintain the application again..

Surprise #2: OneNote 2016 returns to Office

In 2018 it became known that Microsoft wanted to bury OneNote. The Win32 application OneNote 2016 should not be further developed and was removed from Office 365 and Office 2019. Eligible Office 2019 users may have the Windows 10 OneNote app installed. 

Microsoft has recognized this as an error and is doing an U-turn. OneNote 2016 will be re-integrated into Microsoft Office. OneNote 2016 will be included in new installations of Office 365 and Office 2019 from March 2020, as you can read here

Surprise #3: Future development of OneNote

In a separate session at Ignite 2019, Ben Hodes has now commented a little on Microsoft’s plans for OneNote. With OneNote, Redmond wants to return to a uniform code base based on the new Fluid Framework. In other words: The Win32 application OneNote 2016 and the Windows 10 OneNote app should be based on the same code. What this means for the app, however, I cannot estimate.


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In addition, Microsoft plans to further develop OneNote and add new features. This Verge article lists the following items planned as new features.

  • Modern sync services to sync notebooks faster
  • @mentions for OneNote inside of Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Search integration to find the information in your notes
  • New meeting notes features
  • Tasks and To Do integration
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Next-generation canvas

When exactly what will come is not quite clear. A dark mode should also be supported. For the fans of the OneNote UWP app this doesn’t promise anything good – I think Microsoft will eventually pull the plug for its further development.

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