In a significant shift in its application offerings, Microsoft is phasing out two longstanding core applications from Windows 11. WordPad, the default rich text editor, and the People app are set to be removed in upcoming updates, marking the end of an era for these staple Windows components.
End of the Road for WordPad
WordPad, after being around for almost 30 years, is getting the boot from Windows 11. The news came out in the latest preview update for Windows Insiders on the Canary Channel – that’s Windows 11 Build 26020 for those keeping score. If you’re getting a new version of the OS, don’t expect to see WordPad already in there. Plus, once it’s gone, you won’t be able to get it back with any future updates either. It’s a bit of a shocker since WordPad’s been with us since the days of Windows 95, becoming a staple in Microsoft’s lineup.
Reasons Behind the Removal
Several factors contribute to the discontinuation of WordPad. Firstly, Microsoft has acknowledged the application’s redundancy, positioned awkwardly between the more advanced Microsoft Word and the simpler Notepad. Additionally, the lack of recent updates, such as a dark mode, hinted at its impending removal. Microsoft’s official stance recommends Microsoft Word for rich text documents and Notepad for plain text, signifying a strategic shift towards streamlining their software offerings.
The transition of the People App
Similarly, the People app is also being discontinued. However, its core functionality, primarily managing contacts, is being integrated into Outlook for Windows. This transition means that while the standalone People app will no longer exist, its features will still be accessible within Outlook, the new default mail application for Windows 11 devices from the start of 2024.
Implications for Users
- WordPad will no longer be a part of clean installations of Windows 11.
- Users will not be able to reinstall WordPad once it is removed.
- The People app’s functionalities will be available in Outlook for Windows.
Enhancements and Alternatives
In the same update, Microsoft has made notable improvements in accessibility features. Enhancements to Voice Access and the addition of natural voices in Narrator for various languages demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to inclusivity. Additionally, energy-saving features are being introduced, providing users with more efficient power management options.
Alternatives for Users
Despite these removals, Microsoft and other third-party developers offer plenty of alternatives. For text editing, users are encouraged to use Microsoft 365 or Office Online for document creation. For those seeking replacements for the People app or Steps Recorder, Microsoft suggests using integrated tools like the Snipping Tool or Xbox Game Bar, or exploring third-party applications.
User Reactions and Nostalgia
The announcement has elicited mixed reactions from the user community. While some users express nostalgia for the familiar simplicity of WordPad, others welcome the change as a step towards modernizing and optimizing Windows 11. Microsoft’s effort to provide alternatives and improved functionality in other applications mitigates the impact of this transition.
Embracing Change and Innovation
Microsoft is moving from WordPad and the People app, joining the bigger tech move towards merging and doing things more efficiently. They’re making Windows 11 smoother and stronger to handle today’s computer needs by putting their efforts into fewer, better apps.
The end of some programs is just one piece of the bigger picture for Windows 11 updates from Microsoft. The business keeps pushing forward, creating new upgrades and features that keep up with the latest tech trends and what users want.
Getting rid of WordPad and the People app shows a big change in how Microsoft thinks about its programs. Microsoft’s goal with Windows 11 is to make things simpler by improving important apps and bringing their features together. While we’re saying goodbye to these old-school apps, it’s also a chance for fresh, clever ideas to make Windows even better.
If you wanna know what’s new with Windows 11, go check out the official Windows Features page from Microsoft.