The primary difference between Microsoft Word and Wordpad is that Word has many more text editing and publishing features than the relatively simple Wordpad. Wordpad is also included for free with the Windows operating system, while Word must be purchased from Microsoft separately.
Wordpad is a simple text editor included with Windows that enables users to read text documents in several common formats and make basic edits. In contrast, Microsoft Word is part of the Microsoft Office productivity suite and contains a number of powerful desktop publishing features not included in Wordpad. These include the ability to open and save to a much wider range of document file formats than Wordpad, the ability to track document revision history and powerful document layout and publishing capabilities. Word is also integrated with the other applications in the Microsoft Office suite such as the Excel spreadsheet program, so it is easily possible to embed spreadsheets or figures into documents using Word in ways that are often not possible using Wordpad.
The primary advantage of Wordpad over Microsoft Word is that it is free and installed on virtually every Windows computer. This can make it a useful option for quickly viewing or editing simple documents if Word is not installed. It is also significantly more powerful than the very limited Notepad editor included in Windows.