Over three decades after Microsoft introduced Paint in the first version of Windows, the beloved little program we wasted hours of our time on might be going away. On July 24, Microsoft changed the status of Paint to “Deprecated,” meaning that future releases of Windows might not have it. But by that night, Microsoft said in a statement that MS Paint is here to stay.
“MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free,” the company said after the outpouring of love for the product.
Paint was included in the first version of the Windows operating system, launched in 1985. Since then, the program has been a popular feature of every version of Windows. Its simplicity has made it easy to save screenshots or manipulate images. If you don’t have the time to learn how to use more complex programs like Photoshop, Paint has always been there for you.
Here’s what you need to know about the impending demise of Paint and the history of the program. We’ve also included suggestions for Paint alternatives out there.
1. Paint Is a ‘Deprecated’ Feature, Meaning There’s No Active Development for New Versions of the Program
On July 24, Microsoft released a list of programs that will be removed or “deprecated” for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Paint was listed as “deprecated,” meaning it is “not in active development and might be removed in future releases.”
For some programs, Microsoft lists specific features that will be removed or suggestions for programs that might fulfill the same needs. For example, the 3D Builder app is being completely removed, so Microsoft suggests users “Consider using Print 3D and Paint 3D in its place. However, 3D Builder is still available for download from the Windows Store.”
In a statement hours later, Microsoft said MS Paint is “here to stay.”
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. Amidst today’s commentary around MS Paint we wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight, clear up some confusion and share some good news: MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free.
2. A New Version of Paint, Paint 3D, Was Introduced Earlier This Year for Windows 10
Microsoft’s decision to stop working on Paint is surprising since it launched the Paint 3D app earlier this year. As The Verge reported in October when details about the program began to leak, the new version is designed as a Universal Windows app to be used with a pen or touchscreen devices.
This new version of Paint gives users the ability to create 3D objects and edit them as freely as you would with 2D objects.
PCWorld reports that Paint 3D was only available for Windows Insiders until this past spring as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update.
“Paint 3D could end up showing someone that she has the ability to design things in entirely new ways. And the built-in game-streaming feature could end up creating some new online stars. I’ll take that over a minor facelift any day,” Endgadget’s Devindra Hardawar wrote in his March review of the program.
Earlier this month, Windows Latest reported that Microsoft introduced a Paint 3D app for Windows mobile.
3. Paint Was Introduced in the First Version of Windows
Paint has been an integral part of the Windows operating system since day one. The program was included in Windows 1.0 in 1985 and had been included with every version of Windows since then.
Each new version of Windows saw an updated version of Paint. The Windows 95 and 98 versions remain a favorite, leading many to ask how to get those versions to work on Windows Vista and later.
The program was so popular that other operating systems and developers introduced their own versions. In 1984, the year before Windows launched, Apple’s Macintosh had MacPaint, which was discontinued in 1998.
In 1985, Electronic Arts introduced Deluxe Paint for Amiga, and EA kept releasing new versions through 1995.
4. There Are Plenty of Free Paint Alternatives Available on the Internet
Even if Microsoft really does kill Paint, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Of course, there’s Adobe Photoshop, but that costs at least $19.99 a month.
5. Twitter Users Shared Their Sadness Over Paint’s Impending Death
Although concerns about Paint’s “death” were exaggerated, Twitter users still shared their sadness over the program’s possible demise. It was especially hard for the many who grew up using Paint to waste time and create their own “masterpieces.”
Some artists have been able to create incredible works of art with the simple program. Pat Hines, known as CaptainRedblood on Devinart created a whole series of Harry Potter-inspired works using just Paint.
Hines also created a hilarious portrait of Microsoft founder Bill Gates holding a tablet with the drawing recreated on it.
Here’s how others remembered Paint on Twitter: