In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has decided to retire WordPad, a basic text editing software that has been a staple in Windows operating systems for nearly three decades. WordPad, first introduced as part of Windows 95, offered users a simple way to perform basic text edits, including the ability to insert images and links to other files, without the need for additional software. However, according to recent updates in Windows software documentation, WordPad will not see any further developments or updates and is slated for removal from Windows 11 in an upcoming software update.
While WordPad’s discontinuation may stir up feelings of nostalgia for some, Bleeping Computer speculates that the software’s retirement may be for the best due to potential security risks. Earlier this year, Qbot malware infected some Windows computers by exploiting a hijacking flaw in the WordPad app for Windows 10. As Microsoft continues to prioritize user experience and security, it’s decided to phase out WordPad, following in the footsteps of other discontinued features like Windows Movie Maker and Internet Explorer.
Farewell to Microsoft WordPad: A Nostalgic Goodbye as Alternatives Emerge
Microsoft’s basic text editing software, WordPad, which has been part of the Windows package since the days of Windows 95, is set to be discontinued. WordPad, once a staple of the Windows operating system, will join the likes of Windows Movie Maker and Internet Explorer in retirement, according to the latest Windows software documentation.
WordPad: A Look Back
Initially unveiled nearly three decades ago, WordPad has been a key feature of every Windows release. It offered basic text editing capabilities, allowing users to include images, links to other files, and supported various popular text formats. However, Microsoft has decided to halt any further developments or updates for WordPad, planning to remove it from Windows 11 in an upcoming software update.
The Security Concerns Surrounding WordPad
The decision to axe WordPad may not only be due to development lifecycle plans. Bleeping Computer speculates that WordPad had become a security risk, citing instances where Windows-running computers were infected with Qbot malware, which exploited a flaw in the WordPad app for Windows 10. While the demise of WordPad may trigger nostalgia among users, it may be a necessary step for improved security.
The Alternatives: Microsoft’s Own and Third-Party Options
For those seeking alternatives to WordPad, Microsoft recommends Microsoft Word and Notepad. Microsoft Word offers a comprehensive suite of features for document creation and editing and uses rich text file types like .docx. Notepad, on the other hand, is a favorite tool among programmers, primarily intended for plain text documents. While WordPad is being phased out, Notepad continues to see functionality updates.
For those looking for non-Microsoft options, Google Docs, LibreOffice Writer, and WPS Office Writer are excellent alternatives. Google Docs is part of the Google Suite of apps, optimized for real-time collaboration. LibreOffice Writer is part of the LibreOffice suite of open-source software, offering compatibility with Microsoft Word document formats. WPS Office Writer, once installed, allows for integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, and even features a built-in AI assistant.
Other Changes on the Horizon
Apart from WordPad, Microsoft has plans to disable other features as well, including Cortana, its voice assistant, and the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT). These decisions aim to improve Windows 11’s security. Cortana will be replaced by Microsoft Copilot, which aims to bring artificial intelligence features to Windows 11 in the future.
A Nostalgic Farewell
WordPad will remain functional till the Windows update is actually installed, and Microsoft has not specified a date for this yet. While WordPad’s discontinuation may leave some users nostalgic, there are plenty of alternatives that offer improved features and security. If the demand is high enough, Microsoft may consider making WordPad available for download in the Microsoft Store, similar to what happened with Microsoft Paint.
In conclusion, technology continues to evolve, and while we bid farewell to the familiar, we also welcome the new and improved. With security risks being a significant concern, it’s important that we adapt and embrace better and safer alternatives.