Microsoft is updating one of Windows 10’s oldest apps – but you won’t like the change

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Wordpad has been a staple of Windows since Windows 95, so it’s one of the last apps we’d think Microsoft would update, but it looks like the company is doing just that – but rather than adding snazzy new features, it appears it will just be adding ads.

Part of Wordpad’s appeal is its simplicity – it’s a simple (and free) word processing app that allows you to quickly and easily create text documents. The fact that it does the job without fuss is part of the reason why the app has remained largely unaltered over all these years – but that now looks set to change.

According to Windows researcher Rafael Rivera, Microsoft is planning on adding adverts to Wordpad that encourage users to use Microsoft’s Office web apps instead.

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The adverts appear below the toolbar, suggesting users “Try Word online for free”. Other ads mention Word, Excel and PowerPoint for free online, as well as trying Office for free.

It looks like users can close the advert, but it’s still an unwelcome intrusion. And while WordPad users might be interested in trying out Word’s online app, as they are both word processors, the adverts suggesting Excel and PowerPoint, two relatively unrelated apps, are likely to prove more annoying.

Free isn’t free

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has inserted ads for its premium products in Windows 10’s free apps – the Mail and Calendar apps also contain adverts. Even Windows 10 itself now comes with pre-installed games and ads in the Start menu, showing that Microsoft is looking at ways to get more money out of its users. 

Back when Microsoft offered Windows 10 as a free upgrade (which you can still get thanks to a loophole), many of us wondered if there was a hidden cost to Microsoft’s generosity. It seems this is it.

If you're not a fan of the ads, we've rounded up the best free alternatives to Wordpad so you can keep typing without interruptions.

Via MSPowerUser

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.