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Microsoft will roll back to a previous version of Whiteboard on Windows due to fan backlash

Microsoft Whiteboard collaboration
Microsoft Whiteboard collaboration (Image credit: Windows Central)

Updated November 19, 2021 at 10:07 AM: This post has been updated with a statement from the head of product over Microsoft Whiteboard.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will roll back its Whiteboard app to its previous version following negative feedback.
  • A WebView version of Whiteboard came out near the end of September 2021.
  • Whiteboard users complained about latency issues, removed features, and other problems with the new version of the app.

Microsoft released a new version of its Whiteboard application based on WebView in September 2021. The switch was made to provide a unified experience across different devices and platforms and presumably to simplify the development of the app. Unfortunately for Microsoft, many people were unhappy with the new version of Whiteboard. Following negative feedback, Microsoft will revert the Windows version of Whiteboard to its previous version.

Several Reddit threads appeared with users complaining about the WebView version of Whiteboard. Fans shared frustration caused by latency, removed functionality, and stability issues.

"The old Whiteboard already had performance issues, the new app is actually completely unusable. It's astounding," said hologei. Others echoed similar sentiments.

"I've been on a training course with work this week and the instructor used Microsoft Whiteboard on the first day," shared covmatty1.

"Before the second day his laptop updated, and he was just screwed! Less features, more taps to change pen colours etc, and that was when the thing actually loaded! New boards would take a minute to open, if the app didn't just error completely and not create them. He had to resort to using Paint!"

Mathivathan Vhallatharasu, Microsoft's senior project manager over Whiteboard, shared that Microsoft will revert Whiteboard on Windows to its previous version.

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Ian Mikutel, the head of product over Microsoft Whiteboard, shared the following statement on Twitter.

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The old Whiteboard app should be available on Windows again in less than one week, according to Vhallatharasu.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

15 Comments
  • Big applause to team to admit their mistake an roll back... unfortunately not all teams in MS can do the same, let's not forget Chat and Widgets built into the OS that use 300mb of ram each.
  • Yep, at least they easy to acknowledge the issue and revert their decision on their part. Considering this is really bad sadly. Even the Android app doesn't work that well and doesn't seem to have seamless use with S-Pen, it always require you to tap a pen tool before use.
  • Can they do this with Windows 11 as a whole? "JK, let's go back to Windows 10."
  • Windows 10 is supported until 2025. You don' have to update to Windows 11 for quite a while.
  • Wouldn't it better if they go back to XP? Or to Windows 3.1, even better.
  • Not worried about windows 11 and wouldn't want to go back to windows 10 overall, it's not perfect of course, but I've upgraded all my devices to it and they work well.
  • Great move. Instead of trying to fix over time, reverting is the right way to handle this. I was starting to seriously consider alternative solutions. Can't wait for it to go back.
  • Why is Microsoft so obsessed with downgrades lately? In addition to this, Win11 has much less customization over Start & taskbar, New Media Player is much more stripped down than classic, and don't even get me started with how they've gutted Cortana and made her useless. Shame on you MS. Upgraded != Downgrades!
  • I liked where they were going with the new Whiteboard app, and hope that after the rollback, they continue to work on the new app to fix it and add the features of the old into it.
  • I agree. I hope improves can be made. 🙂
  • About time, those WebView2 apps should die in hell. Like what why they thinking? UWP/32bit rules.
  • I couldn't believe one of the single best features from the original, the ruler, was just dropped in the new version.
  • So happy. I try to be positive about software because it's hard to write, but I don't know what anyone on the project was thinking. It was absolutely awful in every conceivable way. WHy they would remove the great interface and replace it with absolute garbage is beyond me. Totally screwed up my classes as well as TAs were having issues with it and plenty of bugs.
  • bull crap. the new version is far better. I use these daily.
  • anyone know why the inking on the ipad version is so weird. it feels almost like someone is trying to my pencil's ink. didnt have this issue on windows version of the whiteboard.