In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft announced on Friday that its decades-old WordPad software will no longer be part of the Windows experience. This move signals the end of an era for a software that has been a staple part of the Windows package for nearly 30 years. Beginning with future versions of Windows, WordPad will no longer be included, and Microsoft has confirmed it will cease updates for the existing software.
Launched originally for Windows 95, WordPad has grappled with its relevance in the evolving tech landscape. The once essential feature was downgraded in 2020 to an optional add-on, allowing users to remove it from their system entirely. As the software giant redirects users towards Microsoft Word and Windows Notepad, it raises questions about the reasoning behind this decision, and what this means for the future of free text-editing software.
Microsoft Bids Farewell to WordPad
In a move that marks the end of an era, Microsoft announced last Friday that it will be retiring its WordPad software from Windows. This software, which has been a mainstay of Windows operating systems for nearly three decades, will no longer be available or updated on future versions of Windows.
First introduced during the time of Windows 95, WordPad has been serving users for nearly 30 years. However, by 2020, it was downgraded to an optional feature, providing users with the choice to remove it from their systems. In a recent blog post, Microsoft confirmed, “WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.”
Redirecting Users to Alternatives
With WordPad being phased out, Microsoft has recommended users to shift to Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf, and to Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt. This announcement, however, came with no clarification as to why the company decided to take down WordPad.
WordPad, a free feature, was often used as an alternative to Microsoft Word, which requires a paid subscription for downloading. Despite lacking some advanced features like spellcheck, WordPad offered much of the same basic functionality as Word.
Recent Updates and Changes
The retirement of WordPad is not the only change Microsoft has made recently. The company also updated Notepad, another free software, and hinted about newer options replacing existing features and functionalities in future versions of Windows.
Earlier this year, Microsoft also replaced its voice-assistant software, Cortana, with a voice access software to allow consumers to control their PC and author text using their voice.
The discontinuation of WordPad is a signal of change at Microsoft, highlighting the company’s shift in focusing on enhancing and updating its more popular and robust products. While some users may mourn the loss of this long-standing feature, the move also suggests that Microsoft is keen on streamlining its product suite and providing users with more advanced and efficient alternatives. It remains to be seen how these changes will impact the user experience in the long run.