Microsoft has decided to discontinue updates for WordPad, its long-standing word-processing application. The tech giant plans to remove the application entirely from an upcoming version of Windows. This move is expected to take place in the anticipated Windows 12 release, scheduled for 2024.
WordPad, which has been a part of the Windows operating system since the Windows 95 era, has not received the same level of attention as other Microsoft applications. While it underwent an update featuring the Ribbon UI with Windows 7, only minor tweaks were made following a slight redesign for Windows 8.
The decision to phase out WordPad comes on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement of enhancements to Notepad, another of its text-editing applications. In 2018, Microsoft revived Windows Notepad with its first update in several years and later introduced tab functionality in the Windows 11 iteration. These updates included features such as autosave and automatic restoration of tabs.
With WordPad’s discontinuation, Microsoft is advocating for the use of Microsoft Word, its paid word processing software. Known for its extensive array of features compared to the basic WordPad application, Microsoft Word is recommended for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf, while Windows Notepad is suggested for plain text documents like .txt.
This move signifies Microsoft’s focus on enhancing its more advanced and feature-rich applications while phasing out those that have not kept pace with technological advancements. The upcoming Windows 12 version is also projected to incorporate numerous AI-driven capabilities, further demonstrating Microsoft’s commitment to innovation and user experience enhancement.