Closing the gap

With the recent release of the « new » OneNote for W10 (version 17.8269) AND the numerous improvements brought to this version in the last couple of months, many users wonder which version is now the best, and whether an UWP Office App can actually replace its desktop counterpart.

This question is particularly sensible, because the OneNote development team has clearly stated that their priority is the App version in one hand (and they have been very busy at enhancing it, indeed !), and not a single improvement to the desktop version has surfaced for years on the other hand.

Also, I have been told that whereas most of Office programs (Excel, Word…) are available in the Windows store in their Win32 version, OneNote is only available in its UWP version. This means that users of Office 10 S (or owners of the new Surface Laptop) will have no other choice than OneNote UWP.

Sure, OneNote UWP has evolved so much lately, that one may believe that the desktop version is now useless. Thus I thought it would be interesting to compare both Windows version (OneNote 2016 vs OneNote for W10), having a look at their respective distinctive features.

This benchmark is by no means exhaustive, and since there are additions to the « App » version every day, you should expect that things get out of date rather quickly…


Comparing OneNote 2016 with OneNote for W10 (version 17.8269)

As you can see in the above table, there is still a significant gap.

But considering that more than 50 improvements / features have been added since August 2015, the gap is narrowing…

There are even few exclusive features in OneNote for W10 (equation solver and plotter, replay and rainbow ink) to address specific customers (students ?).

.Nevertheless, what makes Office programs’ success : namely their tight integration, their customizable interface aimed at Professional users, and the ability to plug new features, through add ins is still lagging behind.

One the other hand, what makes the appeal of UWP Apps, namely their simplicity (compare to desktop programs), may be jeopardized : Will all the upcoming improvements clutter the UI (adding many buttons in the Tab / Ribbon, or options in the contextual menus), and make OneNote for W10 not anymore easy, intuitive or fun to use ?

Obviously, besides a strict comparison of features, user interface ergonomic (both in its default mode, and with customization options), day-to-day ease of use, and reliability matters (especially Synchronization, as far as OneNote is concerned !).

Read this comprehensive test to make your own decision, and feel free to share your thought !



Update : as for « Class Notebook », I cannot tell if there is a feature parity, since I cannot use it. A comment from a teacher will be appreciated !



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