I had converted over to to the OneNote Microsoft Store app a while back when Microsoft announced they were ending support for the full desktop edition. I’ve always been inclined to adapt to the ever changing technology world rather than constantly trying to swim upstream. I preferred some of the features that were in the full version but, I found workarounds and moved on.
Last week I needed to test an Outlook Plug-In which meant I had to download and install the desktop version of Office from my Microsoft 365 subscription. I noticed that it installed OneNote, but didn’t think much of it at the time. A few days later I opened it for a nostalgia kick. I was surprised to see that it had been updated. It had the new Feed feature, dark mode, and it was now named OneNote for Microsoft 365 rather than OneNote 2016.
Some research turned up several posts by mainstream blogs like The Verge and Endgaget confirming that Microsoft is not only bringing back the desktop app, but that they are merging the newer Windows 10 app features back into it. Over the next year or two they will update the desktop edition with new features and move to it rather than away from it. Eventually I located a Microsoft FAQ page that also points to the full version’s future.
The full version of OneNote has three features that are important to me, but remain missing from the app store edition. One is the ability to backup and store notebook files on local storage. Another was the ability to index handwriting, text in pictures and video, and audio from various media sources to make them all searchable. Finally, I really missed the customization options, I prefer my sections on the left and pages on the right. Microsoft has a page that runs down the differences in all of the versions here.
If like me, you have avoided the desktop edition due to Microsoft’s previous abandonment announcement, feel free to move back in. I already have.