Microsoft is gearing up to retire its long-standing word processor, WordPad, which has been part of the Windows ecosystem since the launch of Windows 95. In a move that signals the company's focus on its more feature-rich Microsoft Word offering, the software giant confirmed that WordPad will not receive any further updates and will be phased out in an upcoming Windows release.
A Shift to More Advanced Options
According to a support note released by Microsoft, users are advised to switch to Microsoft Word for working on rich text documents like .doc and .rtf files, and to use Windows Notepad for simpler, plain text files like .txt. This announcement follows on the heels of significant updates to Windows Notepad, which has recently gained functionalities like autosave and automatic tab restoration.
WordPad Left Behind in the Update Race
While Microsoft has been consistently updating its other text-handling apps, WordPad's last major update was back in the Windows 7 era, where it received the Ribbon UI. Despite a minor redesign during the Windows 8 phase, the application hasn't seen significant improvements since. Speculations are rife that the app's complete removal will likely coincide with the expected launch of Windows 12 in 2024, which is touted to have numerous AI-powered features.
For those who have relied on WordPad for its simplicity and accessibility, the news might be disappointing. However, with Microsoft Word offering an array of advanced functionalities, users are being directed toward a more comprehensive tool for their word processing needs.