I have never really gotten on, understood or liked the OneNote app on Windows, but it seems Microsoft Research may be looking to address those usability issues with an attractive new Notes app for Windows that is more optimised for pen usage.
With Plumbago, you can take great looking notes easily. Whether you’re writing, sketching ideas, or doodling designs, Plumbago offers the tools you need to easily capture them.
On the Home screen in Plumbago, you see your notebooks. Here you can add a new notebook or change the title, cover color, or paper type of an existing notebook. You can write or draw on a page in your notebook. You can also add pictures. The app features a radial tool bar offering a wide variety of pen tools. It will work with the Surface stylus, or if not present will let you finger draw.
At present the app appears to lack much of the Courier-like features I expect from a Microsoft Research notes app, but hopefully freed from the clutches of OneNote the division of the company will be able really let their creative juices flow.
The app is not available in the store yet, but you can see its help documentation here.