I’m not too proud to admit I use WordPad regularly.
I generally load it up at briefings where I don’t have internet access and it’s the quickest and easiest thing to take notes on. I’m too cheap to have Office 365 subscription on my own laptop, and often I’m using a review loaner, anyway.
I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who still rocks WordPad. If that’s you, I have some news. It’s testing ads on our sweet, plain boy.
Renowned reverse-engineer expert Rafael Rivera discovered WordPad running ads for Microsoft Office web apps. Screenshots from his Twitter post reveal ads for the online versions of Word, Office and PowerPoint and Excel. There seem to be at least six different variations of the ad that display in a rail above the typing area.
BREAKSCLUSIVE: Microsoft WordPad is getting a new feature! An ad for Office web apps!
Screenshot shows 6 experimental variants.
vso/tfs id 23834136
variants 1-6 pic.twitter.com/TdYOuKkLZc
— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) January 20, 2020
Fortunately, much like WordPad itself, Microsoft Office web apps are free. That being said, you need to sign up for a Microsoft Account, which comes with 5GB of free OneDrive storage. If you want more it will cost you $3 a month for 100GB of storage at its lowest tier. At the top end, the big daddy Office 365 Home subscription costs $129 a year.
Suddenly, the ads for ‘free’ online products begin to make more sense.
At the present time the ads seem to only be in the testing stage. The Windows Insider preview that was used to reveal the ads required Rivera to use Mach2 – a tool created by the Windows expert himself that reveals hidden and unfinished features in windows. It allows the user to find, disable and enable the features. It’s open source and can be downloaded from GitHub.
So we may never see this feature come to WordPad on Windows 10, or if it will even appear for everyone. We’ll keep our eyes peeled in the meantime and hope that Microsoft’s next move isn’t to resurrect Clippy as an Office dealer.
Hey kids, you want some Excel?