Microsoft Paint – the tool that gives anyone the ability to draw barely recognisable stick figures without any artistic training – will be killed off this year. Microsoft has announced that Paint, along with Outlook Express and the Reader app, has been marked, and will be joining Clippy the paperclip in the great recycle bin in the sky later this year.
All three appear on Microsoft’s list of “features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update”. But while few will shed any tears over Outlook Express, Paint elicits feelings of genuine nostalgia. The drawing tool has been a part of Windows since version 1.0 was released, way back in 1985 – and it would be 13 years before it could save JPEGs.
Microsoft has been noodling away with Paint as recently as 2009 when it got a makeover for Windows 7, but it was still a bankrupt man’s Photoshop. It was, nonetheless, capable of producing incredible works of art if you had quite a lot of patience and even more free time.
For most of us, though, this is the kind of thing we’d come up with in tribute:
As I’m writing this on a Mac, I had to outsource that image to one of our PC-enabled brethren, who seemed particularly traumatised by the news of Paint’s passing. “I use it for all my image editing and refuse to install anything better,” she said between bursts of tears (I imagine, anyway – this was on Slack). “It’s really good for drawing condescending arrows on screenshots when people aren’t looking for things properly.”
As someone with limited artistic skills who flatly refuses to install Photoshop, I can’t help but feel the same sentiments. But it’s more than that: Paint was born the year after me, and if it could happen to a beloved drawing tool, it really could happen to anyone.
Paint is survived by its disappointing modern child, Paint 3D. It is not fit to keep the family name.