Microsoft has quietly announced the end of WordPad for Windows, the basic word processor that has been bundled with the operating system since Windows 95. The company has updated one of its support documents to state that WordPad will no longer be updated and will be removed completely in a future release of Windows.
WordPad was designed to handle rich text formats such as .doc and .rtf, as well as plain text formats such as .txt. However, compared to alternative software options that offer more features and capabilities, WordPad has become outdated and redundant. Users can now easily manage rich text formats through Office web apps or utilize open-source suites like LibreOffice for local document editing.
WordPad has historical importance as it replaced Microsoft Write as the default word processor for Windows almost three decades ago. It also shipped with the first version of Internet Explorer in Windows 95. Although WordPad has received a few minor updates over the years, it has mostly remained unchanged and has lost its relevance in the modern era of computing.
Microsoft has urged customers who want to open rich text document extensions to migrate to Microsoft Word, and for those who use plain text documents to leverage Notepad instead. The company has not revealed concrete timelines for the deprecation process of WordPad, but it is likely that it will happen soon.
The move comes at a time when Microsoft is killing off several other software products, such as Visual Studio for Mac, Cortana for Windows, and some features in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft is also pushing hard with AI and introducing new products such as Windows Copilot, Bing Chat, and Microsoft 365 Copilot. These products are based on GPT-4 and offer more advanced and personalized experiences for users.
WordPad may not be missed by many Windows users, but it is still a part of the history and evolution of the operating system. It is one of the last remnants of the Windows 95 era, and its removal marks the end of an era for Microsoft.