back to article Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!

Microsoft has emitted a fresh build of next year's Windows 10 to both the Slow and Fast rings of the Windows Insider programme and goodness, those guinea pigs weren't keen on Notepad-In-The-Store. Build 19035 – lacking the build number watermark but still not quite done, according to Insider chief Brandon LeBlanc – was notable …

  1. Dave K Silver badge

    A good u-turn

    Glad MS have reconsidered on this. Problem with the store is that not everyone has access to it. It could be locked down on a company PC, you could be running LTSC (which doesn't include the store - and which certainly should include a text editor), or you could just be someone who refuses to sign up for a "Microsoft account".

    Either way, plenty of reasons why not everyone has store access, and something as simple/fundamental as Notepad shouldn't be out of reach as a result.

    1. yoganmahew

      Re: A good u-turn

      I'm equally impressed with the u-trun on drivers. It's not just printers, my aged laptop only works with a particularly aged version of an Nvidia driver. I had to hack around a bit to block the driver update. As an aside, disabling, removing, and reinstalling a display driver is the work of the devil.

    2. JohnFen

      Re: A good u-turn

      "Problem with the store is that not everyone has access to it."

      The other problem with the store is that it's simply unacceptable for a lot of people. I know that I'd never install anything from it, and I know lots of other people who feel the same way.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: A good u-turn

      "Problem with the store is that not everyone has access to it"

      More like, Problem with the store is that it is full of CRapps and full of ADWARE.

      The problem started when ALL of the previously included solitaire games were a) converted to UWP/Metro "apps", and b) loaded with ADWARE snd c) moved into "The Store". This happened during the original insider program. I griped. HARD. LOUD. They failed to even listen or respond. And I was not the ONLY one to give such "feedback".

      Obviously the kinds of "feedback" that caused NOTEPAD to be "no longer a 'the store app'" was NOT significant enough "back then" to address the SAME kind of problem: "store apps" generally STINK. And replacing a perfectly good NATIVE application (that runs faster and better) with an inferior UWP "The Store" CRapp is just a BAD idea...

      At least there's the APPEARANCE that 'feedback' is actually working. Sometimes. Maybe.

      And, WHAT did they BREAK in the OS that would require Notepad to be UPDATED anyway???

      (backward compatibility - what's that?)

    4. Philip Stott
      FAIL

      Re: A good u-turn

      EDIT: Should've read the comments first, sorry.

      What's wrong with Notepad++?

      A great text editor that can come as an installer free version.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: A good u-turn

        What's wrong with N++ - the only thing wrong with it as far as I'm concerned - is that it's not installed on every single Windows PC in the world. If you want to open a text file from another app, it's reasonable to assume Notepad will be installed - but not so reasonable to assume N++.

        1. dajames Silver badge

          Re: A good u-turn

          If you want to open a text file from another app, it's reasonable to assume Notepad will be installed - but not so reasonable to assume N++.

          Methinks the kindest thing would be to ask Windows what application is configured (for the current user on that PC) for opening text files, and use that -- the user's choice.

          I suppose someone might configure a text file viewer rather than an editor as the default, though, which would be less than useful.

          When I used to work on Windows I used to open a dialog with a (possibly subclassed) Edit control and pre-load the file I wanted the user to edit into that. Notepad is basically a wrapper around an Edit control so the effect is similar.

          1. Paul Shirley

            Re: A good u-turn

            Win10 still has file suffix association in desktop mode. Can probably even bind crippled UWP apps nowadays after the climbdown on running them on the classic desktop.

            I have most likely types bound to an ancient copy of wjed! The 'open with' context menu sorts out the odd times that's wrong.

      2. Tim 11

        Re: A good u-turn

        Notepad++ is, as its name suggests, the Notepad equivalent of C++. Too complicated and confusing unless you're an expert in it.

        I'd be happy with normal Notepad if they would fix a few obvious things like (1) actually putting in line-ending detection (instead of just blatantly lying and pretending you have); (2) handle at least moderately large size files (e.g. 100MB - not exactly big for a log file); (3) put in a keyboard shortcut for "goto line"; (4) actually display the current line number. Surely this would be a trivial amount of work

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Notepad++ complicated ?

          I have no idea where you get that from.

          Open text file, edit text file, save. Nothing complex there. Oh, there are menu options, but it's like Word, you can ignore them if you just want to edit text.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A good u-turn

          Try Flo's Notepad2, it replaces the stock Notepad.exe & has everything you listed.

          Beware, the version on SourceForge is ancient.

    5. Laura Kerr

      Re: A good u-turn

      "something as simple/fundamental as Notepad shouldn't be out of reach as a result."

      'Zackly. I use Notepad for a lot of things, from codding up quick and dirty SQL scripts from CSV files - the find and replace functionality seems to have got better over the years - to transforming online chord charts from gaudy ad-festooned crap into something that's actually usable in a studio.

    6. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: A good u-turn

      There is a free Notepad with a few bells and whistles available via GNU

      it's called Notepad++

      So if MSFT outlaws their own Notepad (because it works too well, I guess), you know what to look for.

    7. herman Silver badge

      Re: A good u-turn

      Who needs Notepad if you have Edlin?

  2. nil0

    I've only just noticed...

    ...I don't have edlin any more.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I've only just noticed...

      install Cygwin and use vi. OK I prefer nano or ee, but yeah. same idea.

  3. phuzz Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's a thread about Notepad, so it's traditional for someone to mention Notepad++. Looks like I'm the first today.

    Notepad++ is really good!

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Holmes

      Isn't this also usually followed by...

      Comments on Vim or Emacs? (though I much prefer nano myself. Less farting around trying to remember/google then required shortcut keys).

      Notepad++ is pretty damn good though and I still don't regret moving to it from notepad2.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

        Nano all the way.

        Or it would be except I'm currently using Vi, but that's only because I still haven't worked out how to exit it. I tried dropping my connection, I've tried rebooting the machine.

        I tried dismantling the computer part by part, and burying the components in different places. I even had them sanctified by priests, but every time I look up I'm still there. Still in Vim. Always.

        1. Phil Endecott

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          I actually heard two young people in a cafe discussing whether they had correctly memorised the key sequences to exit vi and emacs if they accidentally found themselves in them. I had to interject to remind them of the need for <esc> before :q!.

          This was a minor detour in a conversation about cryptic git commands. They were trying to choose whether to first pull her update, which added comments and reformatted the code, or his, which renamed all the variables to have more meaningful names.

        2. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          Indeed. The one (and only) time I tried to use vi, I was confronted with a blank screen and no clues as to what to do next. That was in 1990 or so. For all I know,that terminal session is still running. And probably still stuck in vi.

        3. Martin J Hooper

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          Press Escape then :q!

          That's not saving the file.

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

        EMACS or death, personally

        1. fobobob

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          Why not both?

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          EMACS or death, personally

          .Same thing, isn't it?

      3. Nick

        Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

        It's amazing what you can achieve in n++.

        It might require an intermediate stage or two, where vim etc would let you do it in one line of (to me) magic, but wow.

        1. LeahroyNake

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          Another upvote for Notepad++ from me.

          I even use it as my go to editor for php and I really don't miss a full IDE as it has code highlighting etc built in.

          Another plus point is running it from a USB stick when required..... Try that with a store app lol

      4. JohnFen

        Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

        Notepad++ is clearly good for lots of people, and it is well-implemented.

        For me, though, it falls in a weird "in-between" place that doesn't really do me much good. It's too featureful to serve as a replacement for what I use Notepad for, and it's not featureful enough to serve as a replacement for the full-fat text editor I use for larger jobs.

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

          Then you haven't lived... With the right plug-ins notepad++ was my IDE of choice for over a decade until I moved over to using a mac (work provided and it was better than the 32bit windows craptop I was offered instead).

          Then a tried eclipse... Developing with an actual notepad would probably have been more productive. Now VScode does the donkey work if only because I do a lot in terminal now.

          As for quiting Vim.. Yes, a thousand times yes.

          Even more fun when it's Vim over an ssh tunnel to a console port. Sacrifices have to be made, cat 5 cables and some RAMBUS simms help with making the required circles I've found, though my colleagues no longer lend me their raspPi's to complete the require rituals. Something about the magic smoke escaping or the blood not washing off...

          1. JohnFen

            Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

            Eh, this is a matter of taste. I have used Notepad++ in the way you're talking about, and it's OK, but I prefer other solutions.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

              Column select is the killer feature in an editor.

              I know the commands to exit vi, because that is the command I crave to use the most.

              1. JohnFen

                Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

                That's a feature that I've used maybe twice in my life -- but if I need to do that, I probably also need a full-fat editor anyway, and the one I use does column selections.

                But that does highlight the nonsense of people downvoting my comment about how Notepad++ doesn't really cut it for me even though it's great for lots of others. Different people have very different needs.

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      I would probably have stated 'obligatory' rather than 'traditional' :-)

    3. iron Silver badge

      Notepad++ is seriously showing its age and the devs make some odd decisions from time to time.

      Try a modern text editor like Sublime ot Atom, you won't want to go back.

      1. yoganmahew

        Hmmm, Sublime: TOTAL: $80 USD

        Atom is interesting, but their teletype add-on neither sends nor receives teletype messages... I was quite disappointed.

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        "Notepad++ is seriously showing its age"

        For example ?

        I can't imagine what I would need to do outside of what Notepad++ already is capable of.

        1. ab-gam

          ...is code for...

          "seriously showing its age" is code for "hasn't been reskinned in some obnoxious 3d modern semi-transparent flat hidden scroll bar cotton candy & unicorns theme."

        2. David 18

          ""Notepad++ is seriously showing its age"

          For example ?"

          Perhaps because it has a usable, intuitive menu (a throwback to the era of usable UIs, when they reached their peak of perfection, before Ribbons messed it all up).

          Perhaps because it is fast, extensible, lightweight and useful?

          Or maybe just because it's not in the Cloud with built in AI and a mobile app?

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Notepad++ has made a few changes recently that I have to find and change back, but it's still the editor that best manages to act as a normal editor when you want that and have many extra features when those are useful. Many other editors I've used either lack the ability to do more advanced things with the text or try to show you every one of their options when all you want to do is type. There are other good editors, but notepad++ is one of my favorites.

            Now does anyone know why my installation stopped keeping temp files around when. you closed it and no longer has keyboard shortcuts on any yes/no message box? I'm sure the first one is a setting I haven't found, and it's honestly not a big issue at the moment, but it's a little annoying.

      3. Dwarf Silver badge

        Easy matrix for me :

        Notepad++ on a PC (when I have to ensure those things )

        Atom on a Mac

        Atom, Gedit or VI on Linux desktops

        VI on anything running embedded Linux, except where its really cut down in which case I'll make do with nano

        After all, its only a text editor and once you get one you can drive most.

        VI and EMACS being an exception here, but lets not start that flame war again !

        Notepad is handy on a generic Windows box for quick things, but I wouldn't want to use it for anything heavy. Glad its not in the store. Hopefully the store will die - after all its a real PITA to create a shortcut to the desktop from things already in the store and you can't keep a particular version for the future if you need to rebuild back to a known state.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          I'll habitually use wordpad rather than notepad if I have to do text editing in windows, for the sole reason that notepad (last I touched it) refused to acknowledge unix line endings. Back when I did more work on windows it was either Visual Studio or SciTE (like Notepad++ another Scintilla based editor).

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Flame

        when you say "modern" do you mean all 2D FLATTY with a ribbon and hamburger icon button rather than a traditional menu? "showing its age", yeah, right. I have a zillion pejoratives that are in my head at the moment, and none of them should be uttered.

        "Modern" as defined by Win-10-nic is *HIGHLY* overSTATED. It's not "modern" at all. It's MORE like Windows 1.0 !!! [would paste obligatory screenshot archive link, but I'm lazy today]

        ribbon, hamburger, fat-finger-friendly icon spacing, 2D FLAT appearance - not "modern" at all.

      5. Tromos

        I'm seriously showing my age too, therefore Notepad++ is eminently suitable for me.

    4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      I do like n++. I used to be a gvim fan for years, but somehow moved over at some point and I'm still puzzled as to how/why that happened. Probably it was the document list that swung it.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    Drive the drivers out

    Thank you M$. Now if they would only remove that category from WSUS... Shouldn't drivers come from the hardware manufacturer?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Drive the drivers out

      let's make ALL updates optional instead, and include a dependency tree, so that if you don't update something, none of the other updates that depend upon it will be "pre-checked" in the list o things to update [except for rollups]. Like it was.

    2. Psmo

      Re: Drive the drivers out

      Well yes,the updates should come from the manufacturer.

      But they (the manufacturers and the driver updates) are often half-baked or just rubbish, so you need to know the good ones, and are rarely deployed as patches unless you follow the manufacturer's website or tools.

      A central distribution tool for the people that can't spell hp.com was a great idea.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Drive the drivers out

        Yes, manufacturers are responsible for bad driver updates but unlike Win10 (before they were shoute at enough to stop) they generally don't force update themselves me middle of the night.

        Had to block any connection to Microsoft on my PVR pc to stop update updating tuner drivers and turning it into an ex-pvr. The combination of forced updates and a MS certification system that doesn't guarantee the drivers actually work was deadly.

  5. Baldrickk

    Oh yay - another update on the way that probably will also fail to install.

    I haven't had an update since last year, whenever I try and install it, it gets to 60% after a restart and then fails, with the most unhelpful "An error occurred" message.

    Very much prefer the Linux way of doing things. Unfortunately as a gamer, Windows is still the superior option so switching isn't as great an option as I would like. :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mine finishes installing 1903 reboots, blue screen multiple time and rolls back, I disable updates, it turns then back on installs, blue screens, rolls back. EVERY DAY. Have now disabled it in group policy and told it to point to local host for its update server and said not allowed to get updates from the internet. So far worked.

      But before i did it, it actually installed it, and booted and worked, for a day. Then blue screened on every boot and then had to roll it back.

      This computer is a computer for my cinema room and for the HTC vive. So doesnt need updating isnt used for browsing etc and updates have broken HDR. So want it kept exactly as it is. But no microsoft are forcing updates even if you say not to and disable the service.

      1. JohnFen

        "This computer is a computer for my cinema room and for the HTC vive. So doesnt need updating isnt used for browsing etc and updates have broken HDR."

        In that case, why not firewall that machine off so it can't talk to the internet at all? You won't get any more updates then.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "In that case, why not firewall that machine off so it can't talk to the internet at all? You won't get any more updates then."

          He did say "a computer for my cinema room" so maybe it needs access to streaming services.

          1. JohnFen

            Ah, I always forget about streaming services. In that case, just firewall that machine off from accessing anything except those services.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Pint

        @AC "Mine finishes installing 1903 reboots"

        You has 1903 reboots while installing? Here, have a ->

      3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        There's an undocumented bug in Windows that causes this - you need to did into it and reset all the failed updates to get the new update to work.

        Windows is showing it's age a lot more than Notepad.

        1. Baldrickk

          Oooh. Any references/links about this?

        2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
          Meh

          Undocumented..

          I'm not sure how undocumented it is. Ever since the Win XP days you'd have to periodically stop the update services, clear out or rename the 'software distribution' folder, then restart services to get those stuck updates to install. Then Win 7 made it worse by providing less information and still having the same problems, and sometimes leaving you stuck in an update loop where you'd either have to pray safe mode would get you in, or remotely kill the installer service if the machine was online. Win10, despite some of its other failings, has improved the updates somewhat, but can often leave you in UEFI hell, where you just have a spinny circle and it never boots, when updates negatively combine with AV or VPN software--anything that integrates closely with the network stack or kernel.

          On a modern machine without even an idiot light for the hard drive activity, and updates lingering on 30% or whatever for aeons, there's no way to tell if it's really installing something, is stuck, or if it's just "Microsoft time", where the percent or time remaining has apparently no direct relevance to what is happening with your installation.

  6. DJV Silver badge

    "users would need to reassociate filetypes"

    I keep having to do that on normal Windows 10!

    FFS Microsoft, please FIX the fscking bugs in the existing crap BEFORE bolting more crap on top of it!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "users would need to reassociate filetypes"

      when I've installed Win-10-nic in a VM for testing, it usually takes 5-10 minutes every time I add a new user, as well as a similar time "configuring" during the initial setup.

      I'd say "fix that, please" before ANYTHING ELSE. It's almost CRIMINAL to act SLOWER THAN AN 8088 with something that ought to be SO simple to accomplish...

      But, MS "majors in the minors" "walks over dollars to pick up dimes" etc.. They need to re-think their priorities.

  7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Ok, now

    Can we arrange that Windows 10 doesn't take me to the Microsoft Store when I enter "python" at a command prompt?

    (Yes, I know this can be done, I just don't see why it must be done. My impression was that anyone willing to write Python was capable of downloading and installing from the master site.)

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Ok, now

      By the same token, anyone willing to write Python should be capable of adding "python.bat" somewhere in their path. It's a bit unreasonable, to say nothing of extremely dangerous, to expect the OS to take you to a 3rd party website when you type a random string into a command prompt.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Ok, now

        I'd like it to do neither. Just tell me that python isn't there, and I can either find it and put it in the path or go to download it myself. An OS doesn't need to try and guess what I want every time I enter something it doesn't understand, and if it does want to, a Ubuntu-style "You might have wanted one of these commands and if you did here are the packages you'll have to install" is better than deciding I meant one specific thing and taking me straight to the install process for that thing.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Ok, now

          It's almost as if they just copied Googles "I feel lucky" button and made it the default and only option :-)

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  8. fnusnu
    Windows

    I still miss PFE

    Now that was a great bit of software

    1. PM2

      Re: I still miss PFE

      What? I'm still using the last Win32 version of PFE on the works' Windows 10 machines. I do look its spped and the ability to call it up from the command line uisng wild-cards to call up either single or multiple files. This is not someting that one can do with Notepad++. It also has the advanage of being useable without formal installation!

      1. Ken Shabby
        Coat

        Re: I still miss PFE

        I miss PTFE

        I'll get my coat, mine's the one that has slipped off the hook.

  9. hayzoos

    Haven't found a good replacement

    I haven't found a good replacement for my preferred text editor on the PC . . . Wordstar.

    I just use whatever is available now.

    Even Ubuntu offering suggested packages is too much, brought to you by systemd Iguess. Linux is beginning to feel like the parts of Windows I was trying to get away from.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Haven't found a good replacement

      I haven't found a good replacement for my preferred text editor on the PC . . . Wordstar.

      I can't say that WordStar was ever my preferred editor, but at one time it was my only editor (apart from edlin, of course). A little later I used WordStar and Sidekick together to get two editor windows at once -- brilliant!

      Then Brief (Wikipedia link) came along and raised my expectations of editing software to a new level.

      This was all under MS-DOS, of course. None of your fancy GUI stuff then.

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Haven't found a good replacement

      The joe editor has Wordstar key bindings.

  10. BonezOz
    Alert

    Thursday Double Whammy!

    Being on the fast ring has been fun, and I'll continue to stay there. But an interesting thing occurred yesterday, got a update and reboot message about noonish (AWST (GMT+8)) so took care of that when I got home, as I know it breaks Teamviewer, but just before bed, less than 10 hours after the first round, I received another pending update/reboot. Bloody hell MS, twice in one day???

    Seriously though, if push comes to shove and a full rebuild is required, which wouldn't be the first time (or second for that matter), I believe it will be time to go back to a solid debian based linux build.

  11. Stuart Halliday
    Gimp

    Am the only one who misses using! StrongED?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Miss it? I even paid for a copy when it was shareware/commercial. It's taken years for mainstream editors to catch up with good old StrongED on RISC OS.

      I have to say I use Visual Studio Code these days with a color scheme that closely resembles StrongED.

      C.

    2. druck Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      StrongED? Bah! !Zap

  12. Stephen Wilkinson

    Editplus has been my goto choice for many years, nothing wrong with Notepad++ but I prefer Editplus

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still prefer DOS 6's edit over the Windows releases of notepad for the absolute basics - text, row and column number on display. Cut/Copy/Paste/Find/Replace.

    Notepad++ has been my go-to of choice for the last 5 years; with Win7 in it's final death throes I'll have to find what I like in Linux world next 10 and the store will only go on the home PC for "learning" purposes for one cannot expect to avoid Windows in the workplace. Not overly keen on the "mainstream" unix editors either it has to be said. Would be very welcome to suggestions!

  14. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Linux

    Is it just me..

    ..or does the whole Insider program seem like where Linux was about 15-20 years ago, but without Linus as a unifying force? And when I say "where Linux was 15 years ago", I mean Windows being an inconsistent mess that has only a glancing acquaintance with QA, and a good chance of putting your machine in a state where extraordinary measures will be needed to recover it, except the Linux project (and forks) seemed to use a bit more common sense and at least a smidgen of quality control, and was a passion for a lot of its developers, unlike the lackluster efforts made by MS these days. (for example, the bizarre and quirky tiled 'start' menu in Win10 would have been quickly scorned and then repaired in Linux)

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