By Jesse Ocean  |   28th July 17


Microsoft Kills MS Paint?!

I still remember the first time I opened MS Paint on my father’s rickety old laptop (I forgot what model it was). Back in the day when Netscape was the only viable web browser, MS Paint was something I used to pass my time, one hideous drawing at a time. Confession: I still can’t draw, but that’s irrelevant to the article in question. Microsoft kills MS Paint after 32 years in the business (Paint came with the first Windows in 1985), it’s pretty obvious that many of us, especially those born in the 90s, will miss it. Its successor, Paint 3D, sounds like a Maya + Photoshop + original Paint hybrid. Although there is added functionality, to me, nothing beats the old 90s nostalgia of scribbling random shapes with a black pen and then filling it with the paint bucket in a myriad of colours to produce something ala Picasso. I wonder what the world would have been without the advent of Paint; even with its limited capabilities, it could do wonders. Just read on. The following story is about a man named Pat Hines, who found Photoshop too difficult and confusing to use and therefore, you guessed it, spent time mastering Paint in order to illustrate his e-book.
He spent 10 years mastering it.
You read right.
10 years.

He writes, “I suck at Photoshop and other programs, and have worked exclusively in Microsoft Paint for over ten years… I honed my craft working long overnights at a hospital reception desk…”

The 10 years of practice really show. His drawings are reminiscent of the 8-bit style pixel drawings that dominated the early era of gaming. Even then, he has effects like lighting and shadow that are more at home in programs like Photoshop.

While the obvious takeaway here is that practice makes perfect, more relevant to the article is how capable Paint is when used correctly. It is the person who uses it, not the thing being used that is important. If you were to go onto YouTube and search for Paint speed paints, you would be amazed at the mastery. Digital painting at its nostalgic finest. Paint drawing is an art unto itself. With the dominance of Photoshop, Paint art is a dying art. Photoshop has been a common medium for digital art for some time and whilst it provides a lot of functionality and tools that Paint is unable to, sometimes, nothing beats 8-bit art drawn in a basic art program. Plus, you get to brag to your friends for using a single layer to create effects like light and shadow. I will always have fond memories of Paint, perhaps simply because I was a 90s child. With 90s nostalgia now a trend in this modern era, we all like reminiscing, since we’re all adults now (Yes, even those born in 1999 – you’re 18 now, good luck). Even the movie Skyfall’s theme is “going back to the past”, though one wonders if James could’ve used Paint to lead Silva astray instead of using those complicated machineries. For me, the nostalgia of Paint is also illustrating horribly drawn comics about my adventures with my plush toys and my friends; the key word here is “horribly drawn”.
To the millennials (those born at the turn of the new century), who grew up in the age of fast-paced technology and memes, will find Paint a trusty old tool in the creation of famous memes like Rage Faces and the like.Though unable to save transparent PNG files (a horror for many artists), Paint was always there for when you needed it to cut, crop, and paste screenshots.. Even on work computers, which limited most other programs, Paint was always there, like a shadow trailing after you. A good one mind you.

A bit of a history lesson here, Paint first came with Windows 1.0 in 1985 as a 1-bit monochrome licensed version of ZSoft’s PC Paintbrush but it was not until Windows 98 that Paint could save images as JPEGs.

The new Windows 10 update, known as the Autumn (or Fall, for those of you in the US) Creator’s Update, Microsoft kills MS Paint completely.

With the Window 10 Creator’s Update, released in April 2017, came forth Paint 3D; though it is nothing like the original Paint and is not an update in any way. Apart from the old Paint, Outlook Express, Reader app, and Reading list have been marked for the chopping block as “features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update”.

Paint’s deprecation falls under “not in active development and might be removed in future releases” and signals the end on an era. Whether Paint is officially removed is still up in the air, as the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update does not have a release date yet.

Whenever that comes, I’m sure that many of Paint’s loyal users will be devastated, much like when Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows Pinball, another classic that I used to play on that very same computer.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll definitely miss Paint, and whilst I’ll use Paint 3D, nothing will ever come close to something that brought me so much joy in my childhood years.

Thanks Paint, it’s been a good one.


It seems that all is not lost, as a Microsoft spokesperson has said to TheNextWeb, “MS Paint is not going away. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing and 2D creation are in Paint 3D – the new app for creativity, available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update. In the future, we will offer MS Paint in the Windows Store also for free and continue to provide new updates and experiences to Paint 3D so people have the best creative tools all in one place.”

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