Windows 10 Breaks OneNote And Surface
Of all the things that I like most about Microsoft Surface 3 is just how good the OneNote experience is with the new N-trig pen and squarer screen. This really is the Rolls-Royce of note-taking setups, besting the SP3, in my view, by being lighter and easier to hold / balance.
On Windows 8.1 that great experience is amplified by the magic of the touch interface, making for amazing workflows - especially useful when you're managing significant programmes of work and need a reliable tool for that purpose. The added features of the Surface Pen come into their own, creating a new quick note by tapping the top button even when the tablet is off, or double clicking to capture information from any document or web page. It holds together as a truly fantastic user experience.
Given that the Surface has now become my main machine I've been careful to ensure that Windows 10 works well before updating it. This is my seventh machine to be upgraded, and whilst there have been the odd eccentric behaviour and a few clearly faulty ones, in the main the experience has been positive.
On the basis of this evidence, firing off the Windows 10 upgrade on the Surface 3 seemed a reasonable thing to do. Big mistake.
OneNote is utterly broken on this configuration, and the amount of broken is significant. The new touch version of OneNote is a enormous retrograde step compared to the Windows 8 version. It throws away all of the cleverness of the radial pen menu, offers no customisation of pens and tools and removes features such as copy. It is in short a horrible, horrible thing.
No problem, just use the desktop version. You'd think wouldn't you? However OneNote 2013 on Windows 10 has new issues all of its own. Intermittently the most recent set of inking will be deleted, or rather forgotten about. If it was being deleted presumably an undo would bring it back. Which it doesn't. The Surface Pen button will not activate the desktop version of OneNote - even when the Surface app is configured for it to do so, and the OneNote-cmd action cannot be unassigned from OneNote (touch) in the 'Default Programs' Control Panel.
Just to add insult to injury, when using the desktop version of OneNote, Windows 10 will occasionally decide that the right click modifier is being permanently applied and all touch input is treated as a right click. Generally a restart is required to fix.
Much as I like Windows 10, the problems with OneNote have meant that the Surface 3 is back running Windows 8.1.
That Microsoft are responsible for the Surface 3, Windows 10 and OneNote and still managed to deliver such a poor experience is just massively disappointing.