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One of the longest-running Windows applications is WordPad. Introduced with Windows 95, it was the built-in, go-to option for opening word processing files like .doc if you didn’t have Microsoft Word.
After 30 years of use, Microsoft is finally bidding farewell to WordPad.
According to Microsoft, WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed from a future release of Windows. Though they aren’t clear exactly what that means. It could be the next version of Windows (i.e. 12) or it could be the next annual iteration of Windows 11 which is coming sometime around this month.
In a snippet from Microsoft’s recently updated list of deprecated Windows features, they recommend Microsoft Word for handling rich text documents and Windows Notepad for plain text. So, in simpler terms, WordPad is on its way out.
You might be wondering, why the sudden exit, and are there any implications for you and your business?
This announcement was made rather quietly, probably because of the lack of focus on WordPad as a product and more of a focus on their paid product Word.
Let’s be honest, do you even use WordPad? And how many times have you mistakenly opened WordPad when you were trying to open Notepad? Notepad is your trusty tool for plain text, while WordPad leans more towards being a word processor. It’s a common mix-up.
This confusion might be one of the reasons behind WordPad’s impending removal. Microsoft might be gently nudging more users towards the paid option of Microsoft Word, an integral part of the Microsoft 365 suite. Or possibly, with M365 being so widespread the need for WordPad just isn’t required any longer.
Let’s not get too sentimental.
As a lifelong Windows user, I’ll admit that I’ve mostly stumbled into WordPad by accident. When it does eventually vanish, I won’t be losing any sleep over it.
There are an abundance of alternative, and better, word processors available. I happen to have a soft spot for Word as my go-to word processor.
As an aside, I prefer Notepadd++ over Windows Notepad for plain text documents as well. There are always choices for what suits your workflow.
However, if you’re a diehard WordPad enthusiast, don’t lose hope just yet. Microsoft is soliciting feedback through the Windows Feedback Hub app. So, if there’s a groundswell of support, who knows? Maybe Microsoft will reconsider and allow WordPad to linger, even if it’s just as an optional, infrequently updated app in the Microsoft Store.
If you’re on the hunt for the best applications to enhance your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you discover the right tools for your needs.
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