Microsoft Brings OneNote 2016 Back from the Dead

Posted on November 4, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Office, Office 365, Windows 10 with 56 Comments

Surprise! Microsoft revealed today that it will extend support for OneNote 2016 and begin adding new features again.

“Microsoft is extending mainstream support for OneNote 2016. Users who prefer it should continue using it,” the firm revealed quietly in its “Book of News” for Ignite 2019. “Office 365 subscribers will begin to see more features rolling out, starting with Dark Mode. The team is working hard to bring additional premium value features to OneNote for Office 365 subscribers next year, such as collaboration capabilities you’re used to in other Office apps, like @mentions for quickly pulling collaborators into your notebooks.”

Microsoft used to maintain two major versions of OneNote on desktop, OneNote 2016, which was part of the Office 2016 suite, and OneNote for Windows 10. But in April 2018, the firm announced that it would no longer update OneNote 2016, nor would it upgrade the application for Office 2019. Instead, OneNote for Windows 10 became the default OneNote experience, and it has been updated steadily ever since.

Well, cue the record-scratch because Microsoft is reversing course. It will once again maintain two major versions of OneNote on desktop, and it will add new features to each.

At least, I believe that’s the case: It’s possible that OneNote for Windows 10 will quietly fall by the wayside now as well. I guess we’ll need to wait and see what happens.

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