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Microsoft bids farewell to WordPad, removing from upcoming windows versions

Microsoft deciding to cease development on its classic word processing app WordPad, included in Windows for nearly 30 years.

Microsoft’s WordPad word processor was first introduced in 1995 with Windows 95. For nearly 30 years, it has been a basic yet handy tool for creating and editing documents included in the Windows operating system.

However, Microsoft has now decided to cease further updates and development for WordPad. The company has confirmed that WordPad will be removed completely in a future version of Windows, possibly Windows 12 expected in 2024.


Microsoft Recommends MS Word and Notepad

With WordPad’s removal, advising users to switch to other apps available within Windows. For rich text documents like .doc and .rtf, recommends using the full-featured Word application. For plain text documents like .txt, the default Windows Notepad app is suggested.

Recent Improvements to Notepad

In anticipation of WordPad’s removal, Microsoft has added helpful new capabilities to Notepad. These include auto-save, automatic tab restoration, and the ability to use tabs for the first time since Notepad’s introduction. While Notepad lacks extensive formatting, it now offers a decent basic text editing experience.


Why WordPad Became Less Popular Over Time

When first introduced alongside Windows 95, WordPad was positioned as an intermediate option between the very basic Notepad and the comprehensive word processor Word. It allowed users to accomplish more graphical document tasks than Notepad, without needing the full power of Microsoft Word.

However, over the years, WordPad received fewer updates. It fell behind modern software expectations. Formatting issues, especially when pasting content from the web, became common. As shifted focus to developing Word, WordPad languished despite its long history in Windows.


Last Major Update Was Windows 7 Ribbon UI

The last significant update WordPad received was alongside Windows 7 in 2009. This update introduced the Ribbon UI to modernize WordPad’s look and feel. Since then, only minor maintenance changes have been made. Its core functionality and purpose remained unchanged from 1995.

Microsoft Pushing Microsoft Word over WordPad

By removing WordPad from future Windows versions, aims to drive more users to adopt its premium Microsoft Word app. While WordPad was a free basic word processor bundled with Windows itself, Word requires a paid Office 365 subscription for full access.

Windows 12 Likely the Version Without WordPad

Based on Microsoft’s official note, industry analysts expect WordPad to be removed starting with Windows 12. Windows 12 will be the successor to Windows 11, with an expected release around 2024 according to reports. The decision aligns with other changes happening across Microsoft’s software ecosystem.

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