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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

MS Paint deprecated; set to die ~ resusciated by outpouring of fans !!

On Monday morning, the internet was abuzz with sad news: ‘RIP ~ Paint’ – most media wrote –  nothing to do with ‘liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film’.  This is about the Paint that every Windows user tried their hand in using and drawing something of their choice !!

The news was - Microsoft, has announced  killing off Paint, the seminal drawing program that has been around since the first release of Windows in 1985. As Obituary was written, readers started writing about their memories of their experiences and one user marked the program’s purported passing with a gravestone seemingly drawn—where else?—in Paint itself.

Microsoft Windows,  MS Windows or simply Windows, is a metafamily of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft. It consists of several families of operating systems, each of which cater to a certain sector of the computing industry with the OS typically associated with IBM PC compatible architecture.  Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

Upon introduction in those days, Windows totally dominated  the world's personal computer (PC) market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. For most PC users, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones. In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25% that of Android devices sold. This comparison however may not be fully relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. At this juncture, the most recent version of Windows for PCs, tablets, smartphones and embedded devices is Windows 10.

Paint (formerly Paintbrush), commonly known as Microsoft Paint or MS Paint, is a simple computer graphics app that has been included with all versions of Microsoft Windows. The app mainly opens and saves files as Windows bitmap (24-bit, 256 color, 16 color, and monochrome, all with the .bmp extension), JPEG, GIF (without animation or transparency.  The app can be in color mode or two-color black-and-white, but there is no grayscale mode. For its simplicity, it rapidly became one of the most used applications in the early versions of Windows—introducing many to painting on a computer for the first time—and is still widely used for very simple image manipulation tasks.

This Monday, (24.7.2017), Microsoft added Paint to the list of Windows features to be deprecated in the Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update.

From its introduction Paint came a long way - Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Me versions of Paint can save images in JPEG, GIF and PNG formats if the necessary Microsoft graphics filters are installed, usually by another Microsoft application such as Microsoft Office or Microsoft PhotoDraw. The most popular application that has come pre-installed on Windows since it was launched in 1985 was about to die or so it was announced. It was a firm staple for children in IT lessons around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.  The software was targeted  to be one of several features removed in the Windows 10 Creators Update this autumn.

Last year, Microsoft introduced a new version called Paint 3D, which included support for 3D objects. Instead of replacing Paint with Paint 3D, Microsoft added a link to Paint 3D in the Home tab of Paint's ribbon. Microsoft announced the list of features that will be killed off in a blog on its website. The firm wrote: 'This list is intended to help customers consider these removals and deprecations for their own planning. 'The list is subject to change and may not include every deprecated feature or functionality.' Other features set to be killed off include the Reader app, Screen saver function and Outlook Express. 

The news went viral with every media fast writing an obituary to MS Paint ~ the good news came before I could write and post one !  Fans on social media decried the potential death of Paint, which has been in existence for 32 years.  That made Microsoft release a blog post  stating - "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," Megan Saunders, a general manager at Microsoft, wrote in  that blog post.  "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."

So, thanks for all the MS Paint love, keep the feedback coming via the Paint 3D app, and keep creating!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th July 2017

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