Ever since Microsoft rolled out the very first edition of their Windows operating system for personal computers in 1985, they have made provisions for having even the most rudimentary graphics editor as part of its package of applications. First they licensed the PC Paintbrush program from ZSoft Corporation. When Windows 3.0 came out in 1990, Microsoft took things in their own hands with Paintbrush which supported PCX and BMP image file formats. Come Windows 95 the application became MS Paint, remaining part of the Windows suite over succeeding versions until Windows 10 announced that future updates might relegate it to a Microsoft Store downloadable only.
At the latest however, The Verge has it that Microsoft may have abandoned plans to remove the venerable MS Paint graphic editor from the default app load-out for Windows 10. This action was hinted at since 2017, when the Creators’ Update for that year introduced Paint 3D. The new application carried over certain 2D graphic editing features from MS Paint but placed more emphasis on the 3D designing function. Microsoft then announced that no further development will be done on MS Paint, and will move it to the Microsoft Store as an optional free download.
But when Microsoft began promoting the upcoming Windows 10 Update 1903 scheduled this coming May, they revealed that again, the patch that would make MS Paint a Store downloadable was not part of the update package. Microsoft Windows senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc candidly remarked when asked, “Yes, MSPaint will be included in 1903. It’ll remain included in Windows 10 for now.” The previous Win-10 updates had flagged Paint with a “Product alert” button on the user interface denoting its impending move to the Store. From what has been revealed about Update 1903, the Product alert warning has been removed.
No reason has been given for Microsoft keeping MS Paint as part of its default app lineup alongside Paint 3D, its intended replacement. Thus far, the 2D Paint app has been considered “deprecated”: by Microsoft; that is, nobody is developing further versions of the program. Its last major overhaul had been in the Microsoft 8 OS, and even then it was a mere bug fix compared to the introduction of “artistic” brush tools in the Windows 7 edition. Microsoft had already done its marketing push to encourage graphic creators to use Paint 3D and Windows 10 more, but have made no reports on its effectiveness.
If MS Paint will remain on Windows 10, the path forward could alternatively be the deprecation of Paint 3D instead. Or Microsoft will deign to keep both graphic design apps on their operating system, specializing each for 2D and 3D. The story is not over.
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