After 28 years of service, Microsoft is killing WordPad

 Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo

Fresh from plunging a dagger into Cortana's digital heart, Microsoft is sharpening another knife while staring at a photograph of a victim with the eyes cut out and a bunch of darts holding it to the wall. That victim is WordPad, the blameless text editor sitting between Notepad and Word—neither a fully lightweight feature-free box for writing a shopping list in, nor an entire word processor ecosystem.

For that sin WordPad has been sentenced first to deprecation and then deletion. In a note called Deprecated features for Windows client, Microsoft has announced, "WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt."

Presumably everyone is actually just using Google Docs instead these days. I imagine the only reason Word is safe is because so many offices run on inertia and the thought of not using the same word processor they've always used would send management into instant cardiac arrest.

WordPad's been around since Windows 95, when it took over from Microsoft Write. Though it doesn't have spellcheck or a thesaurus, and there's no support for footnotes or separating pages, if for some reason you were given an .rtf file to open WordPad was the go-to. I can't say I'll miss it, but at least getting rid of it will free up—let me open control panel for a second—er, 6.25 MB of space.