Prepare to bid farewell to a long-standing companion as Microsoft brings the curtain down on WordPad. The technology giant recently revealed its intentions to phase out WordPad in an upcoming Windows update, with specific timing yet to be disclosed, as reported by Bleeping Computer.
Since the debut of Windows 95, WordPad has held its place as a default installation on Windows PCs. Offering users a straightforward word processor and document editor, it has been an ever-present tool in the Windows arsenal. However, Microsoft now directs users toward Microsoft Word for the creation of “rich text documents like .doc and .rtf,” while Windows Notepad is recommended for crafting “plain text documents like .txt.” Access to Word necessitates an annual or monthly subscription to Microsoft 365.
The transition of WordPad from mandatory to optional occurred with the unveiling of the Windows 10 Insider Build 19551 in February 2020. Though the software was once an automatic fixture, users gained the flexibility to uninstall it at their discretion, a feature accessible through the Windows “Optional features” control panel.
In the not-so-distant past, Microsoft made another pivotal announcement regarding the future of Cortana, another mainstay of the Windows ecosystem. Although the initial plans to phase out Cortana’s support in Windows emerged in June, the final execution of this decision was postponed to “late 2023,” and it eventually met its demise in early August.
As part of Cortana’s sunset, Microsoft clarified that the virtual assistant will remain available in Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms.
For WordPad, the outlook is different. Microsoft hasn’t signaled any plans to maintain user access to the software. The company succinctly conveys that WordPad is no longer receiving updates, leaving users with the sense that an era has come to a close.