In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft, the software titan, has announced that it will no longer provide updates for WordPad, a word processing application that has been integral to the Windows operating system since its inception with Windows 95. The company further plans to remove WordPad from future Windows releases, nudging users towards Microsoft Word, their premium, feature-rich word processing tool. This unexpected move underscores Microsoft’s strategy to streamline its product offerings and encourage users to opt for their more sophisticated software solutions.
This announcement comes on the heels of the news that Microsoft is bolstering its Notepad application with new features like autosave and automatic restoral of tabs, underscoring the software giant’s focus on enhancing its more widely used applications. Despite being updated with Windows 7’s Ribbon UI, WordPad has not received the same degree of attention or updates in recent years. The decision to remove WordPad entirely from future Windows releases, likely starting with Windows 12 expected in 2024, reflects a significant shift in Microsoft’s software strategy.
Microsoft to Phase Out WordPad in Favor of Microsoft Word
Microsoft, the tech giant, has announced plans to discontinue updating its WordPad application and remove it from future releases of Windows. The company will instead endorse Microsoft Word, its premium word processor that has consistently offered a richer feature set compared to the basic WordPad app, which has been a part of Windows since its 95 version.
A Shift in Focus
"WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows," a support note published by Microsoft on Friday stated. The company recommends Microsoft Word for handling rich text documents like .doc and .rtf, while suggesting the use of Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.
This announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that Microsoft is planning to enhance Notepad with features such as autosave and automatic tab restoration. In 2018, Microsoft updated its Windows Notepad application for the first time in years, and later added tabs to the Windows 11 version.
WordPad’s Declining Journey
WordPad, on the other hand, hasn’t received the same level of attention. While the word processor was updated with Windows 7’s Ribbon UI, it hasn’t seen any significant additions following a minor redesign in Windows 8. Microsoft now plans to remove WordPad entirely in a "future release of Windows." This is likely to be the Windows 12 version, expected to be launched in 2024, which is touted to have a host of AI-powered features.
While the removal of WordPad might cause a momentary hiccup for some users accustomed to its simplicity, the shift towards Microsoft Word and the upgraded Notepad, both offering more advanced features, seems like a natural progression. The focus on AI-powered features in the upcoming Windows 12 version is a clear indication of Microsoft’s commitment to evolving with technological advancements and delivering better user experiences.