MICROSOFT HAS MADE a sharp U-Turn over the future of its OneNote app.
Earlier this year, the company announced that there would be no further updates to the traditional Win32 version of the app - the one last bundled in with Office 2016 -choosing to concentrate instead on the UWP version.
But following a surprise announcement at Microsoft Ignite, OneNote is back, back, back - and not just as a legacy product.
The newly updated version back-ports all the code written since it was sidelined to bring the Win32 version up to the same level as the UWP edition. Heck, it even has a Dark Mode, and we know how everyone inexplicably LOVES a dark mode.
The aim is to bring OneNote back to a single codebase and aims to have complete parity over the next 18 months.
Other features coming to the new-old-OneNote include a better sync service, @mentions from within OneNote, not through Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Search that can find details within your notebooks, better meeting note support (whatever that means), Tasks & To-Do integration, a new canvas and a host of improved accessibility features.
As OneNote's second-coming evolves, expect to see it move to the Fluid Framework that is front and centre of the future of Windows software, so expect some serious UI changes to come.
The official line is that the UWP version of OneNote will continue, but let's not make any assumptions here. The fact is that OneNote appears to be the area of Office where Microsoft test-beds its experiments and as such if the Win32 version, which will return to Office 2019, proves successful, we may well find that the UWP version falls by the wayside - after all, the UWP version of Skype hasn't exactly been a massive hit with punters.
OneNote for Win32 is available as part of Office or download the UWP version from the Microsoft Store. µ
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