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Microsoft adds To Do lists and dark mode as it extends OneNote 2016 support

Microsoft is continuing its commitment to reviving OneNote 2016, promising tons of new features for the outdated app in 2020.

Despite previously claiming that it would no longer be providing updates for the Office 2016 version of OneNote 2016, Microsoft announced earlier this week that it would be reviving the app, extending support until 2025.

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OneNote product manager Ben Hodes spoke at a Microsoft Ignite session on Thursday, revealing that Microsoft will merge its modern OneNote code back into the legacy 2016 codebase to create a single codebase to deliver OneNote software from.

Hodes also announced a bunch of new features for OneNote 2016, including @mentions for OneNote in Microsoft Teams, search integration to make combing through the info in your notes easier, Tasks and To Do integration, new accessibility features, next-generation canvas and more. Many of these features are expected to roll out over the next year, with @mentions arriving within the first half of 2020.

Hodes also revealed that Microsoft will be included in Microsoft’s Fluid Framework plans. Microsoft’s new collaboration tech will allow users to create documents that exist in multiple file formats and can be opened across different apps.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard from OneNote this week. Earlier this week we heard that Microsoft would be rolling out a feature to plunge the app into dark mode.

The company went on to announce that, starting in March 2020, Office 365 desktop installs will automatically include the OneNote 2016 app. Microsoft also extended support from its previously imminent 2020 end date to 2023 for mainstream support and 2025 for extended support.

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All of this doesn’t mean the 2016 app and the 2020 app will be joining together as one. The 2016 will be granted features and updates from the 2020 version but the two apps will continue to exist separately for the foreseeable future.

Microsoft product manager Mike Tholfsen quelled fears on Twitter, explaining that “this is more about getting the code for Desktop OneNote “merged” back into the Office Desktop code base and build”, stating that there will “still be a Desktop and separate Windows 10 app”.

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