Months after its announcement, Microsoft finally released a new Windows 11 Canary Build with WordPad scrubbed from existence. Microsoft described WordPad as a 'Deprecated Feature' indicating it is no longer in development, and therefore the software-making giant will no longer include it in subsequent Windows 11 releases. The Windows 11 Canary Build is available for download only for Windows Insiders but reflects upcoming changes aimed at the masses.
Microsoft explained the reason for removing WordPad. It said, "Starting with this build, the WordPad and People apps will no longer be installed after doing a clean install of the OS. In a future flight, WordPad will be removed in an upgrade. WordPad will not be reinstallable. WordPad is a deprecated Windows feature."
For many years WordPad was the go-to free word processor that you got with the operating system, actually dating back to the Windows 95 era. It is also preferred by many to create or edit simple rich text documents. But there is another word processor recommended in its place. Microsoft said on Friday, "We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt.”
The Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26020 will also be removing Cortana, an unsurprising move as Microsoft is pushing Co-Pilot AI to be more than just an assistant, making it a must-have for keyboard makers to have a Co-Pilot key, and this key will be included on its resurrected peripherals lineup.
Will Microsoft make a U-Turn?
Five years ago, Microsoft planned to remove Windows Paint, with Windows 10 Fall Creator Update being the first release without it. But Microsoft relented due to popular demand, making the pixel painting app an installable option via the Microsoft Store. Eventually, MS Paint was significantly redeveloped with Windows 11. Maybe, if there's a demand, Microsoft could do the same with WordPad. At best, we might see Microsoft making WordPad available for installation via its app store. While there are many alternates, WordPad came in by default and had many more word-processing features than NotePad.
Many users have different opinions about it, but suffice to say many writers use this tool. I've been using WordPad ever since I started writing, simply because it is much quicker to launch with all the basic features I would need from a word processor. One may not be too keen on considering Microsoft Office's Word or maybe even LibreOffice Writer, but like all things in time people will adapt to other tools. Moreover, MS Word is paid for commercial software which requires a one-off fee or subscription. There are also other tools like Notepad++, but what made WordPad appreciated by some is that it was included with the OS installation and was quick to launch.
Hence, WordPad will always have a special place for many people, so maybe we'll see Microsoft changing its mind or resurrecting this app sometime in the future.
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"We recommend Microsoft Word"Reply
Sorry but I'm still not getting a 365 subscription!
I was the same way. Until 2015 it wasn't uncommon to see dual cores with 8GB RAM or less commonly even in some higher end machines, even in Microsoft Surface devices, and launching Office is a relatively long ordeal (launch Office on a Surface Pro 3 and you'll understand). When I was in college pre-2010 it really was an ordeal to launch, especially if you were late or just on time for class. Wordpad was the perfect balance of launch speed, enough features to start taking detailed notes immediately (which Notepad doesn't have) like formatting.Reply
In 2024 though, with cell and WiFi coverage the way it is, even basic computer specs what they are, Google Docs and web based Word free, and Android's transcription app able to distinguish between different speakers and format as such, I agree it's time to say farewell to Wordpad.
Sippincider said:"We recommend Microsoft Word"
Sorry but I'm still not getting a 365 subscription!
Web based Word is free, no subscription required, as is Word on mobile devices with <8" screens.
Didn't everybody already switch over to only using notepad++ years ago?!Reply
Notepad++ is a Notepad replacement, not a WordPad replacement. The latter is rich text formatting not source code formatting.TerryLaze said:Didn't everybody already switch over to only using notepad++ years ago?!
I'd say get LibreOffice (through the Windows app store so they get some cash support for maintenance), it works really good.Reply
It's a good Office replacement as well, Microsoft's privacy evading machine learning really should make anyone switch to LibreOffice to be honest.
While I can't say that I've made much use of Wordpad for the last couple decades, web-based alternatives are only acceptable for those willing to share their documents with questionable data harvesting companies. Not exactly a direct replacement for a compact, quick-loading word processor running directly off one's device. And really, the benefits of using a web-based word processor are questionable for anything outside of collaborative projects.Alvar Miles Udell said:In 2024 though, with cell and WiFi coverage the way it is, even basic computer specs what they are, Google Docs and web based Word free, and Android's transcription app able to distinguish between different speakers and format as such, I agree it's time to say farewell to Wordpad.
Getting rid of Wordpad is little more than a move to attempt to push users toward alternatives that they hope to profit off of. The software isn't exactly feature-packed, and word processors in general haven't changed much in 20 years, so it's not like it costs them any significant money to maintain, so there should be no logical reason to remove it.
Notepad++ is not a word processor, but a text editor, making it more of a notepad replacement, if anything. Those are two largely different categories of document editors. Just as you probably wouldn't want to use Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer to type code, you likely wouldn't want to use Notepad++ to type a document intended for print or other uses where you need text formatting.TerryLaze said:Didn't everybody already switch over to only using notepad++ years ago?!
Just one more reason not to bother with upgrading to 11.Reply
Really?AlanC9 said:Just one more reason not to bother with upgrading to 11.
Your actual workflow depends on WordPad?
As usual MS does the opposite of what it ought to do. A standard, offline office suite is obviously a benefit. Most Linux distros ship with LibreOffice preinstalled and that works quite well. MS should have expanded WordPad to include endnote/footnote and docx support. This would directly compete against GoogleDocs and provide a reason for students to choose Windows over ChromeOS, but instead MS chooses to cut off support altogether and "recommends" people use Word, which is not remotely comparable. Sadly, MS seems to care more about the user's data than it does providing a good experience.Reply