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Microsoft axes WordPad after 28 years of duty :-(

(Image credit: WordPad (Windows))

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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