Microsoft: 'MS Paint is here to stay' [Updated]

Image credit: Microsoft

Update: Microsoft Paint enthusiasts, not least those involved in yesterday's online petition, can let out a collective sigh of relief—the simple computer graphics app is "here to stay".

That's according to Microsoft, who has now addressed earlier concerns that MS Paint was doomed for the recycling bin as part of Windows 10's incoming Fall Creators update. 

Originally billed as "not in active development" and possibly scheduled to "be removed in future releases", MS Paint will live on as a free but not automatically installed app on the Windows 10 Store. Described as a "new app for creativity", Paint 3D will stand in its place. 

"Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint," reads a statement on the Microsoft blog. "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.

"Paint 3D—the new app for creativity, also available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update, will continue to get new feature updates. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing, line and curve tools, and 2D creation are in Paint 3D."

Original story: 

You might want to send your PC out of the room while you read this sad bit of news: MS Paint, the pretty terrible yet still beloved image program that has shipped with Windows since version 1.0, may be on its poorly-drawn deathbed.

Originally known as Paintbrush, Microsoft Paint (or MS Paint or just Paint) first appeared in 1985, but the Age of Paint may finally be drawing to a close. MS Paint now appears on Microsoft's list of features to be deprecated in the Windows 10 Fall Creators update, which qualifies it as "not in active development and might be removed in future releases."

Alas, poor Paint! The graphics app been used for years to create crude drawings and comic strips, employed by gamers for even cruder .bmp screenshot editing, and has always been an easy way for Reddit's seemingly inexhaustible supply of conspiracy theorists to draw red circles around artifacts on zoomed-in jpegs that prove Obama is an alien lizard or that the trees in The Witcher 3's E3 trailer were better looking than the trees in finished game.

We don't really know if Paint will be taken into the woods behind Microsoft and summarily executed, or if it simply won't receive any further updates, and we probably won't find out until the Fall Update abruptly reboots our PC while we're trying to work on something important. Perhaps the loss of Paint isn't a great tragedy in the overall scheme of things, since so many superior graphics programs currently exist. It's still a bit sad, though, in the same way it's sad that Pluto is no longer designated a planet. We accept the news, and understand the reasoning behind it, but there's some wistfulness upon reaching the end of an era.

But times change, progress marches on, and sometimes you simply have to say goodbye (and start using Pixlr). Or maybe you don't! If you want to take action—the best kind of action, which doesn't require you to leave you chair—naturally there's a petition to save MS Paint. Remember, fan protests can sometimes work (though they didn't do much for Pluto).

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.