Paint Heads for the Dustbin of History


The initial press release from Microsoft sent shockwaves around the world of geekdom. The vaunted and hopelessly outdated graphics program Paint would not be included in this fall’s Windows update. For readers of a certain age who remember Paint’s debut back in 1985 with the first Windows release – that’s version 1.0 for those keeping score at home – the announcement that this program would be leaving triggered a wave of nostalgia.

A world without Paint would be like a world without color.

The Worm Turns

The funny thing is that the immediate and massive outpouring of love and anger at Microsoft’s decision seems to have bought Paint a new life. The company still plans not to include it in the next Windows update but has promised to make it available for free in the Windows Store. This means that hardcore junkies who feel naked without the knowledge this graphics program lies snugly nestled on their computer can live to breathe another day.

Reality Bites

No serious graphic professional uses Paint any more. It has long been overshadowed by stalwart options like Photoshop or Gimp (if you’re into open source stuff), but for the same reason we continue to get “rebooted” television and movie options from Hollywood, Paint lives.

Microsoft’s Megan Saunders spoke to the topic: Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there’s anything we learned, it’s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It’s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app.”


As readers might expect, the Windows update will include an updated version of the program called Paint 3D, so all is not completely lost. The move is an unsurprising move considering how hard and fast other companies like Google and Apple are moving into the virtual reality realm and releasing products that allow users to paint VR worlds around them.

The Bottom Line

Since future use of Paint will only be via download through the Windows store, you’ll have to actually seek out the program and install it on your machine. Users at work might be out of luck with it being verboten for any sort of downloading to take place on so many office systems. For now, though, Paint remains with us, even if it seems the old girl has been stuck in the dusty corner of a museum. So long, Paint. It’s been good to know you.


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