In a significant shift, WordPad, the stalwart text editor that has graced Windows PCs for approximately three decades, is making its exit. The same is being hinted at in the Windows 11 Build 26020 in the Insider Preview’s Canary Channel. The Microsoft code there is likely indicating that WordPad will no longer be automatically installed with the new OS build. Moreover, it is slated for official removal in a future update, with no option for reinstallation. This will certainly mark the end of an era for the humble WordPad, the nest best thing to Word and a leg up to the plain vanilla Notepad.
WordPad’s Journey from Windows 95 to Windows 11
Having been a default Microsoft application since its debut in Windows 95, WordPad served as the successor to the original Microsoft Write. Its dual role as a text editor with some MS Word functionalities and an advanced version of the classic Notepad made it a versatile tool for users. However, Microsoft’s recent decision to retire WordPad hints at a realization that it occupies an awkward middle ground between MS Word and Notepad, rendering it dispensable, Gizmodo reported. In fact, Notepad is being updated on a regular basis and it has acquired some nifty features, which have likely made WordPad redundant.
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According to a Microsoft Learn post detailing deprecated features for Windows clients, the company recommends using Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and.rtf, while Windows Notepad is suggested for plain text documents like .txt. This guidance reinforces the idea that WordPad’s functionalities can be adequately covered by other Microsoft applications.
GeekWire’s observation that WordPad missed out on a dark mode update adds another layer to the narrative. This omission, coupled with the absence of features like autosave, as seen in Notepad’s recent updates, raises questions about WordPad’s relevance in Microsoft’s evolving ecosystem.
WordPad is not the only casualty in this wave of changes. People, another long-standing Windows app, is also being phased out. The rationale behind this decision revolves around migrating the bulk of People’s functionalities, particularly contact management, to Outlook for Windows.
As we bid adieu to WordPad, it marks not only the end of a familiar tool but also signals Microsoft’s commitment to refining its suite of applications to meet the evolving needs of Windows users. The departure of WordPad may be seen as a necessary step toward streamlining Microsoft’s text editing offerings, paving the way for a more focused and efficient software landscape.
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