In a significant move, Microsoft has decided to retire WordPad, the long-standing text editor that has been a part of the Windows ecosystem for decades.
WordPad, a familiar presence since the days of Windows 95, has been a middle-ground option between the feature-rich Microsoft Word and the straightforward Notepad. However, Microsoft has now announced that it will no longer provide updates for this software and intends to remove it from future versions of Windows.
This decision may come as a surprise to many users who have relied on WordPad’s simplicity and the fact that it was available for free, unlike Microsoft Word, which often required a fee or subscription. Nonetheless, WordPad always lagged behind its more advanced sibling in terms of functionality. It lacked features like a spellchecker and faced limitations when saving files in certain formats.
In an official support note, Microsoft stated, “WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.”
While the support note does not delve into the rationale behind this decision, it aligns with a broader trend of removing outdated software and features in newer versions of Windows while introducing newer alternatives.
Coinciding with this announcement, Microsoft has recently rolled out updates for Notepad, another free text editor in the Windows lineup. Notepad, although simpler than WordPad or Word, is also evolving. It is set to receive autosave functionality and other new features, building on recent additions such as a dark mode and various improvements.
However, it’s worth noting that WordPad has seen minimal changes over the years. Its last update was introduced with Windows 8, over a decade ago, and even then, the changes were relatively minor.
In the landscape of text editing tools, Microsoft’s WordPad faced competition not only from its own software offerings but also from third-party alternatives like Google Docs, which provide an array of advanced tools and collaborative features.
In conclusion, the retirement of WordPad by Microsoft marks the end of an era for this venerable text editor. Users seeking more advanced text editing capabilities may find Microsoft Word or other third-party alternatives better suited to their needs. As Windows continues to evolve, it’s essential to stay updated on the latest changes and available options for text editing on the platform.