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Microsoft won't include desktop OneNote in Office 2019, UWP app recommended instead

In February 2015, Microsoft made OneNote completely free for Windows PCs and Macs. This essentially meant that users could download it at no cost by not subscribing to Office 365. Later, the company also released a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of the software, while maintaining its desktop counterpart as well.

However, Microsoft has now announced that it won't be adding any more features to the OneNote 2016 desktop version, and that it won't be included in Office 2019.

The news certainly isn't surprising given that OneNote wasn't featured in the Office 2019 announcement. This has now been confirmed by Microsoft, which has clarified that OneNote for Windows 10 will replace the current OneNote 2016 as the default tool for Office 365 and Office 2019.

As such, no more features will be added to OneNote 2016, but the company will continue to provide bug fixes and support in accordance with Office 2016's lifecycle. This means that mainstream and extended support will be offered till October 2020 and October 2025 respectively. The software will still be optionally available for Office subscribers but it won't be installed by default.

Microsoft has touted OneNote for Windows 10 as the best version of the software, with numerous exclusive features such as writing notes with voice using Cortana, an enhanced syncing experience, and improved support for ink-to-text. However, there are still some features that are available in the legacy app and not the recommended Windows 10 app, which is why the former will still be optionally available for those who require it.

Moving forward, Microsoft will be adding the following features to OneNote for Windows 10:

  • Insert and search for tags
  • View and edit files
  • Additional Class Notebook features

The expected timeframe for the aforementioned features is "summer", and the company will be adding other features soon as well. You can provide feedback to Microsoft via the Feedback Hub and can also enroll in the Office Insider program if you'd like to test these features out earlier than the general public.

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