Live Sharing Sessions in OneNote 2010 and long live shared notebooks

Some of you have commented on the fact that in the new version of OneNote 2010the Live Sharing Session feature has been removed from the product.  First of all we understood this was an important feature for customers however the underlying technology it was built on is no longer supported by Windows and didn’t scale well with modern operating systems, we had to remove it.  We also knew of a lot of problems people had with the feature and it didn’t work behind firewalls or certain network configurations.  Since the underlying technology was going away we knew we had to do something new in OneNote 2010 and we also understood for select customers the live sharing sessions feature was important.

What we did in OneNote 2010 was to make share notebooks ‘go to light speed’ and start syncing quickly when other people are also editing the same page.  This means that when you are in a shared notebook we are always syncing your edits and once we see someone else editing we start syncing in real-time.  We will kick up our sync interval to sync very often and make sure the current page is getting synced in nearly real-time.  It is pretty cool to see this in action where people can be writing notes together and we just handle everything.  Once the other author stops editing we turn our sync interval back to the normal time period and keep a lookout for other people’s edits and then we can move into real-time again if we need to.  Shared notebooks also have the advantage of being in the same place where your team shares content, you don’t need to send some weird IP address or config file to people, they already have the notebook open.

To get this working you need to put your notebook up on SharePoint 2010 and have your notebook be in the 2010 format and just start editing.  Or have your notebook on Windows Live SkyDrive (coming soon as of the posting date).

This is clearly better because people no longer need to go into a special mode to get real-time to sync, now whatever notebooks you have will allow you to edit & collaborate in real-time.  Many other customers were asking for shared notebooks to sync faster so we thought this was the best solution for our customers.  Thanks for your patience and if you have comments for the team please put them below.

Comments (15)

  1. siro says:

    You have a huge customer base that does not use sharepoint.

    SkyDrive is nice, but making a solution for plain netowrk shares / dropbox would be even cooler.

  2. Eduard Epure says:

    Could you add an option or provide a regkey to "go to lightspeed" over network shares as well ?

  3. Kathy Jacobs says:

    I'm in the group that misses live sharing. Understand why it is gone, but miss it. I have found that sharing over a network drive is almost like sharing live. Hubby and I are in and out of each others notebooks all day long. What we have found is that switching pages usually forces a sync. It isn't a "lightspeed" sync, but it isn't bad.

  4. Jeremy Baumberg says:

    I have teams of ten people that use Live Sharing in meetings. We tried beta 2010 over networks and the synching is really just not fast enough to make a mtg work. Sharepoint 2010 is really not usd by so many as the huge overhead of maintenance and installation doesn't make it resource effective for many.

    Some network share version is enormously desirable.

  5. The way to move to faster sharing on UNC is to set this registry value:


    It would be a DWORD, the default value is 30 seconds but you can turn it down to 1 second or something higher up to 3600 seconds.

    Hope this helps you Eduard and others.  If you have questions please let me know.

  6. Kevin Yang says:

    can u get this feature back?? if you guys think the share notebook feature is better, u can keep it too. what most users want is just simple real-time live share without any extra server.

  7. Mike Clargo says:

    Thanks for this.  I am struggling over the Sky drive to get a sync in much less than 8 seconds, and it is normally nearer to 15-20, which is much slower than I was getting in Live Sharing – and it is a problem for what I want to do in terms of collaborative meetings.  Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong not to achieve 'Lightspeed'?

  8. Eduard Epure says:

    I have applied your registry tweak and am satisfied. I set it to 1 second intervals. I have a dedicated router only for this purpose. Since my laptop is on an SSD and the network is Wireless N, I get some pretty good performance for 2 people. When we added another person, it did slow down.

    I was wondering if the fact that he was using his laptop in Power Saver Mode made a difference in the sync times with the registry tweak enabled.

  9. Kevin Yang says:

    again, this decision sucks!!

    "Since the underlying technology was going away"

    this should not be the cause. this real reason is for sharepoint or skydrive marketing, right?

    2010 sucks!!

  10. EvanM says:

    The explanation for losing the simple, fast connectivity that was available as long ago as OneNote 2003 is lacking. TCP/IP protocol hasn't gone anywhere. I can install OneNote 2003 on my machine right now and sync with my friend's laptop real-time. No SharePoint. No SkyDrive. No shared folder. Just an IP address. What could possibly be simpler than that?

    Real-time sharing is one of the only reasons I use OneNote. If it's not in the next version, neither will I.

  11. Kevin Yang says:


    totally agree with u!! the sharepoint marketing strategy sucks!! it makes onenote not that charming!

  12. Jeremy says:

    I'm a school student and I miss Live Sharing, since I don't have access to Live Skydriveany shared network locations at school.

    But then again I won't be copying my friends notes anymore.

  13. Dylan says:

    bullshit, live sharing session was amazing! now onenote is 10x lamer

  14. Tony Smith says:

    Yet another disappointment from Microsoft.  One guy hit it on the head, it's all about pushing other products to try to make more money.  Great thing is, it's going to backfire.

  15. David says:

    I seem to be missing the FolderPollInterval file in my registry… has that method of changing the sync speed changed?

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