MS Paint, take a deep breath and relax

Paint is gone, it’s not gone yet and then it’ll survive – Microsoft Paint spent some time in limbo.  The headlines were confused and sometimes downright wrong.  After the dust had settled, Paint was given a long term life.

Microsoft Paint has been around for over 3 decades.  There are many, better, drawing programs out there but Paint is simple and always available. Sometimes it’s the quickest way to crop or convert an image.  It’s no surprise to anyone, except Microsoft, that people want Paint to continue.

Paint isn’t going away

Many news reports about the ‘death’ of Paint were wrong.  Even before Microsoft gave Paint a reprieve, Paint was still going to be in the next Windows 10 update.

Microsoft has a two-stage approach to some features/programs in Windows and Office:

  1. Deprecated – the first stage is notice that the feature will probably be dropped in the future, but not right away. A deprecated program won’t be developed anymore but remains available.  It’s notice to developers that might rely on that program to change their systems.
  2. Removed – after deprecation comes the final fall of the axe. The program or feature is removed entirely.

Paint moved into the ‘Deprecated’ category and was always going to be in the upcoming Windows 10 ‘Fall Creators Update’.

You can see the full list of deprecated/removed features in the Fall Creators update here.

Paint3D is Microsoft’s replacement for Paint.  That makes sense to Redmond who are desperately pushing their 3D products but Paint3D is a lot more complicated than Paint.  As a Windows app, it doesn’t have a ribbon of obvious tools to look across and read labels.

Paint3D is a triumph of corporate objectives over customer usability.  Something Microsoft can’t see in their relentless push of 3D technologies.

For simple photo editing, like cropping, we sometimes use the Photos app that comes with Windows 10.  But that app lacks some important features, most notably, reducing the file size of an image.

For that and other useful goodies, we return to Office Picture Manager.  Office Picture Manager was removed from Office 2010 but survived that ‘death’ to live on many years after Microsoft dumped it without a replacement.

Removed doesn’t mean gone

Even if a program is removed, that doesn’t mean it’s totally gone.

Stand-alone programs like Paint can survive in an unofficial form.  If Microsoft had totally removed Paint, someone would have figured out how to make it work with future versions of Windows.  Office Picture Manager is an example of software life after death.

Reprieve

After a day of shock headlines, Microsoft agreed to give Paint a pardon or perhaps extended parole.

When Paint is removed from the Windows 10 installation, it’ll appear in the Microsoft Store as a free app to download.

Maybe the whole thing was a publicity stunt by Microsoft but we doubt it.  They didn’t expect the enthusiasm for Paint combined with misunderstanding about ‘deprecated’.

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