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Microsoft has decided to bid farewell to the iconic WordPad. Three decades ago, the company introduced WordPad, a no-cost word processing tool that later became a staple with Windows 95. However, Microsoft has now made the decision to retire this text editing tool, which has long been pre installed on every Windows computer.
The announcement has been a long time coming, considering Microsoft recently introduced updates for Notepad. These new features, including autosave and automatic tab restoration, mark the first upgrade to Notepad since 2018.
In a support note, Microsoft stated, “WordPad is no longer receiving updates and will be removed in a future release of Windows.” The note further recommends Microsoft Word for handling rich text documents like .doc and .rtf, while suggesting Windows Notepad for plain text documents such as .txt files.
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The most recent WordPad software documentation clarifies that as part of planned development cycles, certain features are introduced while others are phased out to enhance the overall user experience. Consequently, WordPad will no longer see further development or updates, and it will eventually be removed from Windows 11 in an upcoming software update.
Consistent with Microsoft’s tradition of quietly shutting down products over decades, WordPad’s discontinuation got a brief mention on Microsoft’s Deprecated features list, devoid of any fanfare.
WordPad was introduced as a replacement to the earlier free word processor, Microsoft Write, back in 1985. Even though it was initially reinstalled on all machines, over time, WordPad became an optional application with Windows 10. In 2020, reports revealed that Microsoft was experimenting with ads within the free WordPad application. However, this addition was never widely released to the public.
As per the details, WordPad will remain fully functional and accessible until users install the Windows update. Microsoft has yet to specify a precise date for when this update will be.