This Fall, Microsoft will update Windows 10, and for at least a few days there, said it would be dismantling MS Paint for good when it happened. But because it's 2017 and nothing means anything anymore, this morning the computer giant "revived" the crude yet long-loved artistic application. It's been a whirlwind of a week for one of the world's oldest computer applications.
According to a blog posted just this morning by Microsoft, "MS Paint is here to stay."
"Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint," reads the post. "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."
After all, Microsoft Paint is only 32 years old. It was finally getting its life together after the blackouts that epitomized its 20s. Born in 1985, as part of the auspicious Windows 1.0, it originally only supported 1-bit monochrome graphics. That means black and white, like the classic movies your grandfather gets all enthusiastic about at Thanksgiving dinner: They don’t make them like they used to. No grandma they don’t, because we have more colors today. …
However, once Microsoft releases another edition of Windows, Paint will surely be left on the side of the road, holding a sign made of variously sized paint brushes and clashing colors because it rarely understood harmony. At this point, updates or add-ons are unlikely.
Yet while most people only used Microsoft Paint to crudely edit their friends for quick laughs, some artistes mastered the accessible interface to create actual works of art. Illustrator Pat Hines is one such illustrator who meticulously creates images that defy what one expects to see in Paint. He told Inverse that the “charming little program” served as a creative outlet for him as a kid. His DeviantArt page shows an unexpected level of skill — for using MS Paint.
There’s also Hal Lasko, the Pixel Painter. According to his website, Microsoft Paint “would end up being a saving grace for a lifelong artist who refused to let a major disability stop him from creating and eventually sharing his love of art with the world.” Lasko passed away on July 06, 2014 at age 98, but not before gifting the world with his MS paintings. There’s also a short documentary about Hal Lasko that’s well worth watching.
Microsoft Paint isn’t just a program, but a signature of home computing, of a simplicity that entertained both the memelord and maestro. Reddit’s MS Paint board proves the potential. If Paint is ever removed in the future, it will mark the end of an era: the end of second-rate photoshopping, the end of accessible cropping, the end of a staple that’s persisted for over a three decades as part of the Microsoft community. It's why users of the Internet came to its rescue,
Long may it live.