A tale of two OneNote applications

Just at a glance I tried going with only version of the OneNote app and found a few differences summarized below which keep me using both apps as I move across devices.

OneNote 2013

(Desktop App)


(Windows Store App)

  • Optimized for keyboard, mouse and pen
  • Optimized for touch
  • It has a touch mode (not optimal use case)
  • Ink capabilities (not optimal use case)
  • Send to OneNote utility great for screenshots and sending content from other apps to OneNote on the desktop
  • Participates in the Windows Share functionality
  • Full featured client (Outlook/Excel integration)
  • Great preview pane for notes


I did not include the iOS and Android apps which I use on occasion, which may force me to add a 3rd or 4th column to the list. Each OneNote app seems to work to take advantage of the capabilities of the device (touch, pen, mouse, keyboard etc.) All the core functionality for taking, sharing consuming notes exist in each app. My experiment simply demonstrated to me in a Windows 8 environment I am generally going to find myself with both apps installed instead of being able to get away with one version of OneNote.