Microsoft moves Notepad to the Store in the latest Fast ring build

Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18963 to the Fast ring today. The build came with a few new features such as the ability to view GPU temperatures in the Task Manager, the option to rename virtual desktops, some improvements to the Optional Features and Mouse Settings pages and more. However, the company also announced that starting with this build, good old Notepad will now be split from the OS and will be updated via the Microsoft Store in the form of a Store app.

Notepad has been along for a very long time in Windows – ever since Windows 1.0 that released in 1985. Over the years, the app has been updated with every Windows release with either new features or improved aesthetics. It has also been receiving some nifty updates in the recent releases of Windows 10. However, since it is tied to the OS, any features and or fixes to the app warrants an OS update. With the app moving to the Microsoft Store, it can now be updated like any other store app.

The company says that it made the change as it will provide it with the “flexibility to respond to issues and feedback outside the bounds of Windows releases”. Take for example the recent vulnerability involving the ‘Text Services Framework’ that affected Notepad. The flaw that could let hackers run any process within the system when exploited, was patched through this month’s Patch Tuesday updates. In the future, any such patches and/or feature additions, if local to just the app, do not have to be reliant on an entire OS update.

While the change is limited only to today’s Fast ring build from the 20H1 development branch, the version of Windows 10 that is to be released sometime in the first half of 2020, it’s anyone’s guess if the wait would be that long. Though a basic text-editor, Notepad is a famous choice for many Windows users. It will be interesting to see if there are any major features and improvements planned for the app, or if the change is indeed just a part of the firm’s efforts to move more system apps to the Store for improved serviceability.

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