In a session at its Ignite 2019 conference yesterday called "The future of Microsoft OneNote: Notes unleashed", Microsoft announced, well, the future of OneNote, outlining some key features on its roadmap. You might recall that earlier this week, the firm announced that it's bringing back OneNote 2016, finally adding some new features after being in maintenance mode for a while. The first new feature is dark mode, which is available to all Insiders.
OneNote 2016 is going to be installed by default with all new Office installations beginning in March; however, it's not going to be automatically installed on your existing installation. You can go out and get it if you want it.
What was announced at yesterday's session is that Microsoft is bringing its unified codebase - which is used for the various modern versions of OneNote - to OneNote 2016. That will make it easier to update in parallel with the rest of the lineup. As was also noted earlier this week, Microsoft is planning to support both the desktop version of OneNote and OneNote for Windows 10 for the foreseeable future. Support for OneNote 2016 now aligns with Office 2019, with mainstream support ending in 2023 and extended support ending in 2025.
Aside from the unified codebase, Microsoft did announce some new features that are on the way. Modern services and mentions were already announced, but there's more on the roadmap, as you can see from the image above. Microsoft Search integration is coming, which will add your notes to all of the other company data that works with Search.
Section sharing is a big one. Right now, you can share entire notebooks or a PDF of a page in a notebook, but there's no easy way to share just one section. Tasks are coming as well, with Microsoft To Do integration.
The next-gen canvas has to do with the Fluid Framework, Microsoft's new way of collaborating. Microsoft promises that the Fluid Framework will "break down barriers" and allow you to collaborate at "unprecedented speeds".
The company didn't lay out a timeline for most of these new features, but the OneNote team is working closely with the Fluid team, and there should be a preview of OneNote and Fluid working together next year.