Microsoft to remove 30-year-old Windows app.

Microsoft to remove 30-year-old Windows app.

Microsoft Bids Farewell to WordPad: The End of an Era


In a surprising move, Microsoft has recently announced that it will bid farewell to WordPad, its long-supported rich text application. As of September 1, the beloved software will no longer receive any updates. While this announcement may come as a shock to some, it’s important to understand the distinction between deprecation and removal, as explained by Microsoft. Deprecation signifies that a feature has reached the end of its life cycle and is no longer in active development, whereas removal means the feature is completely eradicated after being deprecated.

For loyal users of WordPad, the news may be bittersweet. Although there are plans to remove WordPad from the Windows operating system in a future update, its final end-of-life may not arrive until the expected release of Windows 12 in 2024. However, Microsoft has a history of keeping its programs around for longer than anticipated, so there may still be some time left to enjoy the software.

WordPad, a free and often overlooked rich text editor, may not be familiar to many recent Windows users. As an alternative, Microsoft has suggested turning to the subscription-based Microsoft Word for comprehensive rich text editing, including .doc and .rtf formats. For those in need of a plain text editor, such as .txt files, Windows Notepad remains a reliable option.

As the curtain falls on WordPad, Microsoft has also announced updates to the Notepad app. This plain text editor, which had not seen any significant updates in years until 2018, has now been revitalized with features like autosave and tab restoration. The introduction of tabs to its layout, in conjunction with the Windows 11 update, has breathed new life into Notepad, making it even more user-friendly and efficient.

This decision by Microsoft to steer away from WordPad follows a similar trajectory to that of the Internet Explorer browser. While it took eight years for Internet Explorer to be phased out, it still lives on in the form of the “Reload in IE mode” button on the Microsoft Edge browser. This mode allows users to view websites and applications based on legacy scripts and code in a more compatible fashion. With plans to support IE mode at least through 2029, it seems that the base technology behind Internet Explorer will remain a part of the Windows ecosystem for the foreseeable future.

Going forward, Microsoft will continue to evolve its software offerings, adapting to the changing needs and trends of users. While nostalgia may hold a special place in our hearts for programs like WordPad and Internet Explorer, it’s important to embrace the advancements and improvements that come with newer technologies. So, as we bid adieu to WordPad, let’s look forward to the innovations that lie ahead in the constantly evolving realm of computing and digital media.