After 28 years of service, Microsoft has decided to discontinue WordPad, the text editor that came pre-installed with every Windows system since the days of Windows 95.
According to a recent update in Microsoft’s list of deprecated Windows features, WordPad will no longer receive updates and will be removed in a future version of Windows. While it’s not clear whether this removal will affect existing installations or just new ones, the likelihood of an update removing the application is high due to increased security risks associated with outdated software.
Microsoft had been experimenting with ad banners in WordPad as early as 2020, nudging users to switch to Office 365. Furthermore, they allowed users to manually uninstall WordPad, making it an optional feature more than three years ago.
For those who relied on WordPad for basic text editing, fret not. Microsoft recommends transitioning to Microsoft Word for handling Rich-Text documents like .doc and .rtf. For simpler text files, Notepad remains a viable option. But let’s not forget the plethora of free alternatives out there, from LibreOffice to Google Docs, which offer a more robust feature set, making WordPad essentially obsolete.
With cloud-based options like Google Docs and Microsoft’s own online version of Word, the need for a basic text editor like WordPad diminishes. These online platforms offer synchronization across devices through Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, adding another nail in WordPad’s coffin.