Can you believe it? After 30 years of faithful service, Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on WordPad. Microsoft has recently made the surprising announcement that after three decades of service, WordPad, a long-standing software application, will be phased out. This venerable program, which made its debut alongside Windows 95, has allowed users to open .doc files without the need for Microsoft Word. However, it now faces an uncertain future as Microsoft plans to discontinue updates and eventually remove it from the Windows operating system.
Wordpad is being discontinued?
The decision to retire WordPad raises questions about the rationale behind this move and its potential implications for businesses and users alike.
“WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows,” reads a support note published by Microsoft on Friday. “We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.”
Although the exact timeline for the software’s departure remains unclear, Microsoft’s intention to bid farewell to this software is evident.
One may speculate whether WordPad’s impending demise is related to its frequent confusion with Notepad. Often mistaken for one another, Notepad is intended for plain text editing, while the software serves as a more feature-rich word processing tool. This confusion may have contributed to Microsoft’s decision, as it aims to streamline its software offerings and encourage users to consider Microsoft Word, a pivotal component of the Microsoft 365 suite, for their document processing needs.
Microsoft’s official stance, as reflected in their recently updated Windows deprecated features list, recommends using Microsoft Word for creating rich text documents and Windows Notepad for plain text files. This shift signals a clear shift away from WordPad’s utility, making it less relevant in the modern Windows ecosystem.
Looking back at the software
Despite the potential obsolescence of WordPad, it is important to acknowledge that many users have rarely interacted with the application intentionally. As a lifelong Windows user, I personally confess to opening the program inadvertently on numerous occasions, and its eventual removal from the system does not appear to be a cause for concern. The market boasts a plethora of alternative word processing applications, with Microsoft Word standing as a favored choice among many.
For those who still hold a fondness for the program or rely on it for specific tasks, there is a glimmer of hope. Microsoft has initiated a call for feedback through the Windows Feedback Hub app. If a substantial show of support arises from users, there may be a chance that Microsoft reevaluates its decision and retains WordPad as an optional, albeit infrequently updated, application available through the Microsoft Store.
End of an era
The retirement of WordPad marks the end of an era for a software application that has been a constant companion to Windows users for three decades. Its fate remains uncertain, but the changing landscape of software offerings and the evolving needs of users have undoubtedly played a role in this decision.
News of the WordPad removal comes just a day after Microsoft revealed it’s upgrading Notepad with features like autosave and automatic restoral of tabs. Microsoft updated its Windows Notepad app in 2018 for the first time in years and went on to add tabs to the Windows 11 version. WordPad hasn’t had the same amount of attention, though. The word processor was updated with Windows 7’s Ribbon UI, but after a slight Windows 8 redesign it hasn’t had any major additions.
Whether you are a WordPad enthusiast or ready to embrace alternative solutions, the world of word processing software continues to evolve, offering a diverse range of options to cater to various preferences and needs.