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Microsoft Has a Replacement OneNote App in the Works

A new OneNote app for Windows 10 is expected to be released in "the second half of 2022," Microsoft announced this week.

The OneNote for Windows 10 app is going to reach its end-of-life phase in about four years, along with Windows 10 itself. They are both scheduled to fall out of support on Oct. 14, 2025. Being out of support means that the app may continue to work, but it doesn't get patches from Microsoft. The use of unpatched apps can be a security risk.

Oct. 14, 2025 is Microsoft's final deadline to ensure that the new OneNote app is in place.

"After the in-app invitation is available, we recommend updating to the OneNote app by October 2025 when both Windows 10 and OneNote for Windows 10 will reach end-of-support," the announcement indicated.

Microsoft's announcement regarding the new OneNote app just applies to Windows 10 and future Windows 11 users. It doesn't apply to Android, iOS, macOS and Web browser users of the OneNote app. OneNote is offered for free, and the various app versions for different operating systems are described in this document. Microsoft also optionally sells "premium" OneNote features, which are available to Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 OneNote users.

Missing Features
The new OneNote app, expected sometime in the second half of 2022, isn't going to have all of the features found in the OneNote for Windows 10 app. Here's Microsoft's statement to that effect:

While we won't be incorporating the entire list of features from OneNote for Windows 10 into the OneNote app, we are working to ensure that all the most loved features will continue to be a part of OneNote. We will follow up with the full list of features in a future announcement.

OneNote 2016 Déjà Vu
Microsoft's announcement of the new OneNote app may seem somewhat familiar. More than three years ago, Microsoft had indicated that the OneNote for Windows 10 app was going to be the successor to the OneNote desktop app available to Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 users.

That OneNote desktop app was called "OneNote 2016" back then, and it's still possible to use it. OneNote 2016 will reach its end-of-life phase on Oct. 14, 2025.

Also back then, Microsoft had explained that the OneNote for Windows 10 app would lack some of the features that were available in OneNote 2016. OneNote 2016 notably supported offline file storage, while the OneNote for Windows 10 app only used OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud-based storage service, for file storage.

That lack of offline file storage was a deal-breaker for some OneNote users who could not switch to online file storage for compliance reasons. Microsoft did not mention that offline file storage would be available with the coming new OneNote app, so it's likely not going to be an option and will go away when OneNote 2016 reaches its end.

Update 8/6: The new OneNote for Windows app isn't deemed to be new, and it will support saving files offline in local storage, according to Ryan McMinn, head of product for Microsoft OneNote and Sticky Notes.

"We are not making a new version," McMinn explained in this Twitter post. "We are bringing the best of both to the current desktop version, which supports local storage."

Microsoft is answering questions about the new OneNote for Windows in this Twitter thread.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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