OneNote 2016 starts being offered automatically with Office 365 installs

OneNote 2016 has had a bit of a bumpy ride in the last few years. Microsoft dropped the desktop version of the note-taking app from the Office 2019 suite of apps, in turn recommending the UWP version. The decision to no longer develop features for the desktop version, however, was reversed as the app started receiving features late last year. The resurrection of OneNote 2016 also meant that the app would be offered by default with Office 365 and Office 2019 installs starting March 2020.

As promised, it looks like OneNote 2016 is now beginning to be automatically installed when users install Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) apps. As per Dr. Windows (via WinFuture), a re-install of the Office apps earlier in the month did not still install OneNote by default, likely suggesting that the rollout was staggered or delayed. However, an install yesterday automatically included OneNote.

Interestingly, the nomenclature for the desktop version seems to have ditched the year branding, as the app is now called ‘OneNote’. The naming is in line with other Office 365 apps. This also could be why the UWP version of OneNote was recently officially renamed to ‘OneNote for Windows 10’.

Microsoft unified the codebase for the OneNote desktop and UWP apps to update both the apps in parallel and align development. While the UWP version is set to be supported for the foreseeable future, it will be interesting to see what the company’s plan would be for that version. The firm extended mainstream support for OneNote 2016 (now called OneNote) till October 23, 2020, with extended support ending on October 14, 2025. These dates align with Office 2019 support timelines.