Microsoft's Paint fiasco reveals its struggle to modernize Windows in the internet age

Earlier this week, Microsoft released a list of features being deprecated in the forthcoming Fall Creators Update for Windows 10. Depreciation is a weird word for non-techies that means "usable but regarded as obsolete" with no further development. While it is not to say a feature is necessarily removed, it implies that at some point it will be.

Microsoft Paint was put on that death list with new Paint 3D app positioned as a suitable replacement. Immediately, tech media and pop culture sites jumped on the bandwagon of lamenting its future obsolescence. Microsoft eventually reversed its position with a modern twist (more on that below).

While humorous, Paint-gate demonstrates the problem that all tech companies have with a successful product that spans decades.

How we got here

Starting with Windows 8 back in 2012, Microsoft started down a path of modernization of the Windows OS that we've come to know for three decades. With a new user interface (UI), interaction paradigms, and the revamp to "Modern apps" that could span smartphones, tablets, and PCs, Windows 8 started to leave behind many of the older 32-bit apps that have adorned consumer PCs since the 20th century.

Windows 10 — another reboot in many ways — continued down that road of revitalization. Right away, there were observable differences when comparing the legacy Control Panel with newfangled Settings area. Microsoft promised that these differences would fade as the two systems merge in the coming years and the tech giant is sticking to its promise.

MS Paint. Yeah, that's the good stuff.

MS Paint. Yeah, that's the good stuff.

Microsoft Paint goes back to 1985 with the first release of Windows 1.0. It is a true legacy app from a bygone era that itself has not seen a substantial revision in years, nor has it kept up with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) shift in app design. In a world where touch and digital inking is taking the lead for artistic expression, Microsoft Paint sticks out as a relic, like Windows Fax and Scan (which, yes, still exists even in Windows 10 today too).

Earlier this year, Microsoft released Paint 3D, which is just by the name implies that this UWP app is the proper torch bearer for terrible office artists of the future, as well as a younger generation who understand 3D is more than goofy red and blue glasses you wear to watch a terrible movie.

When Microsoft even hinted at Paint being removed at some point in the future, internet nerds revolted. Some of it is legitimate criticism, while much of it is also just nostalgia for simpler times.

The perpetual problem of Paint progress

As someone who launches mspaint.exe no less than 15 times a day — seriously — I'm part of the small percentage of people who would be affected by any removal of Paint from Windows.

Moreover, Paint 3D is just not a suitable replacement. Sure, it's simple and even very nice looking, but for old pros like me it's also too much pen and 3D — I don't even know how to put an arrow in a pasted image, or resize an image by pixel count. You know, the simple stuff for photos so I can juxtapose two things for a cheap laugh on Twitter. Serious business.

Paint 3D. What is this...the future? Heck, no and get off my lawn.

Paint 3D. What is this...the future? Heck, no and get off my lawn.

That issue with Paint 3D just not being a suitable replacement for "hardcore" Paint users is on Microsoft. The company has successfully moved other apps and services like Groove, Movies & TV, Skype (yes, I count it), the MSN suite of apps (News, Weather, Money, Sports), and more to the UWP framework, but Paint 3D is too much new, not enough old.

If 3D is for everyone, why isn't Microsoft marketing Paint 3D to anyone?

To be clear, Paint 3D is a great app. I love the design and the online Remix 3D community. But it's its own thing, not my beloved Paint of yore.

Microsoft either needs to add a basic, non-3D focused "mode" to Paint 3D or just make Paint but with modern UWP principles and keep it separate. Just don't tell me Paint 3D and my "MS Paint" are the same.

We're stuck in the past

While Microsoft deserves some blame for trying to pull a switcheroo with Paint for Paint 3D, the people are in the internets are also ridiculous.

One reason I didn't freak over the Paint-gate situation is that this is Windows.

There are a bazillion other Paint-like apps out there, including the famous Paint.NET, which itself goes back a few decades. In fact, the developer of Paint.NET plans to bring the app to the Windows Store using Microsoft's Desktop Bridge toolset (a.k.a. "Project Centennial").

Moreover, I know — and Microsoft knows (through telemetry) — that most of you are not really using Paint. You just remember drawing goofy things using a mouse while in between Solitaire games during class. That made a lot of the backlash seem disingenuous. Yes, I'm calling you out fake Paint fans.

In a world where Adobe reigns and digital inking is now a legitimate field, the existence of Paint is almost hilarious. It's a token of our shared computing past that we're only reminded of when we accidentally launch it instead of PowerPoint.

The larger problem is Microsoft faces this same issue each time they try to take a meaningful step into the future. Windows Phone users — another camp of dedicated crazies of which I'm a part — lost their collective minds when the notion of Silverlight (itself depreciated in 2012) may be removed in future version of Windows 10 for mobile, even though it would not affect their current 2-year-old phones. Zune Music fans are still sore over that app and don't get me started on the Windows Media Center crowd, who refuse to just let it go.

Computing like it was 2017. Awesome, or just sad?

Computing like it was 2017. Awesome, or just sad?

Microsoft is not removing these things because it likes to mess with users, but because it costs money, time, and effort to keep those apps and legacy development platforms going for an increasingly small camp of users (regardless of how vocal they are). Moreover, it takes up space, adds to the complexity of Windows as an OS and is not where the company — nor its new user base — is heading. You can't have bits from 30 years of OS development put into a modern OS and still have it be lean.

This problem is not just Microsoft's though. Apple is facing this with its increasingly boring and non-modern macOS. While iOS is arguably the best smartphone system, does anyone think that in five more years that OS will start to jettison bits, become clunky as Apple packs more into it every year?

While it was humorous to see even 9Gag and Super Deluxe get in on the "ZOMG MS Paint is ded" meme, it speaks more about the power of internet memory and the constant outrage culture we live in than actual concern.

Preserving the past with a modern solution

In the end, it is not clear if Microsoft intended just to pull Paint from future releases of Windows 10 — a distinct possibility — or if the eventual solution, putting it in the Windows Store — was planned. Microsoft does appear to react more often than necessarily anticipate.

Porting Paint to the Windows Store with Microsoft's Desktop Bridge is the ideal answer to this vexing problem, and I'm glad Microsoft is taking that route. In fact, it is so obvious you must wonder why that was not "Plan A" instead of what looks like a fallback resolution. And if it was the original plan, why it was never communicated? All that goes back to Microsoft's continuing struggle with its own messaging and maybe not quite understanding how looney (and loud) some of its dedicated base of users really care about your dad's apps.

IrfanView — another oldie — is now in the Window Store.

IrfanView — another oldie — is now in the Window Store.

Microsoft should rip out most of those legacy apps — including Windows Fax and Scan, ahem — and put them into the Windows Store. They don't belong in an OS built for 2017. Nonetheless, those apps represent a real legacy and history about how far we have come, and they deserve to be preserved. The Xbox team gets this with its backward compatibility program for older games. Moreover, they represent some real perfection. Microsoft Paint is so beloved despite no updates in years because — like a paperclip — it elegantly solves a simple problem.

But God help Microsoft if they ever remove the Snipping Tool.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I think putting the old apps in the store is a great solution. If people want the old app they can still get it and it drives more traffic to the app store where people might discover newer and better apps. Windows no longer has to be bogged down by old apps installed by default.
  • Agreed. The nice thing about Paint is that it is *simple* to use for common tasks (e.g., copy/paste and cropping of images/screenshots). Paint 3D seems similarly simple for those tasks. Keeping Paint in the store works for me.
  • The photos app does a great job of cropping and simple edits of images/screenshots. No need for Paint for that.
  • Not if you're cropping something in the clipboard.
  • I use paint when i want to reduce the size of an image and upload to a website... It's simple and does it perfectly.
  • Maybe you should try the Snipping Tool
  • I use snipping tool too. Takes a few seconds to boot up which is weird tho
  • you right, the new photo app does that
  • Paint 3D is good for touch screen. At the same time it added additional clicks to desktop. try it to count the clicks. Do it on the legacy Paint and then on Paint 3D. After i found that legacy pain is here to stay. I immediately revert to using the legacy app. I use it to resize, add tex and crop pix alot!!! 
  • I too often use Paint for simple tasks, however it is terrible for cropping, for that I usually use the built-in annotations tool in ShareX, or GreenShot. 
  •  But what about enterprise? My work computer doesn't have access to the windows store...
  • I agree to a certain extent but the OS has to be somewhat functional as a computer OS without relying on the store, this might get annoying for users who don't have internet that often. Maybe include it as an option during setup?
  • A very sensible artical with relevance wider than Paint. As for the comparison with Snipping Tool  ----"But God help Microsoft if they ever remove the Snipping Tool " ----there is a little known 'upgrade' to it which I have used for a couple of years instead of Snipping called simply Snip, or sometimes referred to by other names such as Office Snip. It is an MS Garage Project, both sinmple to use plus more features including editing options and even audio.   
  • "B..b..but... change is scary!" seems to be the only argument against this. Do these people realise that Microsoft also removed Solitaire from the OS and moved it into the Store?
  • Yeah, I think a lot of this was just poor messaging/not anticipating the reaction, which is on Microsoft. It's also just internet users having a laugh and remembering when they were 14.
  • How is it bad messaging this time? It was barely even announced before the BS "outrage" started. 
  • If they had planned to put in the Store the whole time they should have noted and communicated that; if not, and it's not clear they really did plan on putting in the Store, then they are tone deaf to some of their audience.
  • Makes sense.
    Microsoft has always excelled when it comes to communication.
  • Microsoft can NEVER modernize Windows because users like to cling onto the past and Microsoft Paint is the perfect example. MS Paint was first released in 1985, yes you read that right 1985, it's time to let this 42 year old software die off with the likes of Microsoft Xenix and Windows 3.1!!!
  • *32
  • Nope, 42. 85, 95, 05, 15, 17. That's 42 years unless maths has changed since I was at school.
  • There is this calculator app in Windows 10... You might find it useful.
  • ? 15+17=32
  • Lol 42 😂
  • 42?  I'm 44 and I was born in 1972.  More like 32.  
  • Smaller audience of people than Paint (just) but they did a similar thing with Minecraft on W10M. They obviously knew the UWP for phones was coming but didn't bother saying anything about it.
  • It was bad messaging on behalf of all the 'Journalist' with their hyperbolic 'Paint is Dead' headlines. It was pretty embarrassing.
  • Totally agree with the whole article. On the Silverlight on WP though I could only see that being an issue if WhatsApp is a Silverlight app and not an 8.1 WinRT "Universal" App
  • What Solitare is missing! Cue customary outrage.
  • It's actually interesting. We say there is no proper replacement for MS Paint on Windows now (and barely any typical user knows Paint.NET) and then we conventienty blame "the Internet" for the outrage. Riddle me this: how much "outrage" would the Internet make if there was a UWP MS Paint replacing the old one? You know, one that could manipulate images the same way MS Paint could, newer, a bit pen friendly, but with the same level of simplicity? Don't tell me most of it is just drama. From my perspective, this is yet another effort to take away stuff from the OS in the name of modernizing it, and calling out people for "being afraind of change" the same way they did with Windows 8. Not all change is good change, and Windows 8 was terrible for the desktop. So. Give people the next version of MS Paint with simpler and more advanced features, and see if anyone gets outraged. P.S. You argue against yourself. People not getting outraged about Solitaire actually shows you there was a difference between Paint and Solitaire other than nostalgia.
  • I mean, this whole article is blaming both the internet for faux drama and Microsoft for not making Paint 3D an ideal or suitable replacement. I specifically write a whole section on that.
  • Yeah, but you didn't put that in the heading though.
  • I'm not here to baby readers. Read the article, not the heading, then make comment. Works easy enough for all of written history.
  • Sadly, Windows 10 is still terrible for the desktop.  Love it on my hybrid, though.
  • Bad example. The solitaire in the store is horrible. Uninstalled it after a few goes because of those damn ads
  • What?! You haven't learned to ignore ads yet? Alert the media! BTB, it's the same Solitaire (klondike)... just added 3 more types when they put it in the store, that's all.
  • Downloaded it again, I guess it's better now. When it first came out, the ads were really bad on it
  • See all followiing (myopic, brainless) comments to back up this articles statements, below... and above.
  • I think you did a good job by yourself
  • Dan, IMHO you do hit on the issue in the article, but don't stress it enough; communication. It is simply abdominal from MS's side and has caused and will cause so much confusion.
  • It does seem had they just said "we're done making Paint, but we're putting it in the Store" it would have prevented the whole thing. Pretty sure I could have predicted this reaction. MS Paint has a very long meme history, this isn't rocket science.
  • I fully agree with you. Think you should take up a PR job with MS ;)
  • "Pretty sure I could have predicted this reaction. MS Paint has a very long meme history, this isn't rocket science." Agreed, in fact I vividly recall they faced an uproar during Creator's Update development when they had MSPaint.exe open Paint 3D instead of classic Paint for a few builds.
  • Yup, that's true! That's when the concern began.
  • Yeah, they could've just done that at the very least. I don't think they are not aware of possible backlash, so why not just communicate that classic Paint will be on the Store in the first place? Microsoft seriously has to work seriously on their communication and marketing. This two is what gets them the backlashes or even hate. Also, they really have to take care of their planning, which causes some things like features getting over promised and delayed, still going back to communicating it properly.
  • Abdominal? 😄
  • I love changes. But I also don't like leaving anyone behind. Putting it in the store seems like a good solution.
  • I, too, love changes.  But only if it is change for the better.
  • You can put arrows in images and resize by pixel count in Paint 3D. Use the buttons across the top for stickers and image sizing.
  • "The company has successfully moved other apps and services like Groove" I wouldn't call it successful when Windows Media Player is still such a vastly superior app.   "While iOS is arguably the best smartphone system" Yeah. Definitely arguable. 'cause I'd argue that iOS is the worst smartphone system. And the market seems to agree with me ;P   On to the main topic, I'm not sure people actually understood what Microsoft meant to start with. Unless Microsoft doesn't know how to speak English (and the "Fall" thing might lead one to argue they don't), "deprecate" isn't the same as "remove". I understood the deprecation of Paint in the sense that the program wouldn't see any further development or support. That's different from it being removed. Microsoft has deprecated Windows Photo Viewer in favour of Photos (even when WPV is, again, vastly superior to actually view bloody photos) but the program is still there. You can access it to open photos, you just don't find it front and centre and to make it a default program you have to go through some hoops (but it's possible. I do that on all devices). When Microsoft announced the deprecation of Paint, that's how I read it. They'd take it from the spotlight and burry it in the system.   However, the "we're moving it to the Store" seems to indicate that indeed Microsoft doesn't know how to use words and this was just another blunder. But good. I really dislike to use the Windows Store but if that's what I have to do to get Paint back if they actually remove it, then so be it.    
  • "I wouldn't call it successful when Windows Media Player is still such a vastly superior app." I'm pretty sure he means they did it, and people know where to find it, nothing to do with the success or the quality of the app "I'd argue that iOS is the worst smartphone system. And the market seems to agree with me" If you're using the market as your metric, there is also Blackberry and Windows Mobile that are far below iOS
  • On the first account, if that's what he meant, then sure. Though I'd still like to see some numbers on actual Groove usage out of curiosity. On the second account I wasn't but if I was then yes, I would also consider WP, BB10 and even Symbian. And as OSs only, I'd rate them all above iOS.
  • Many people don't use groove at all. I don't. WMP is a superior audio and video player. Can't even change playback speed in groove or movies and tv apps. There is just too much functionality missing from these UWP apps. It's like if Apple were to replace iTunes and QuickTime on macOS with iOS' media apps. All the people who complained about iTunes would switch back to super fans immediately, because these mobile-optimized user experiences only make sense on Microsoft's pet project devices like the Surface tablets they've been using to push windows since the release of 8.0.
  • Yes, but "deprecate" in the world of software does typically mean to be removed. True, it may take a few versions before actual removal, but eventually it happens.
  • I don't know why MS never just bought Paint.NET outright. That's been my go to for YEARS. I also, too don't understand the "outrage" but like you said Dan, it all seems to be fake nostalgia. Kind of like how plans to demolish an old aging mall in a neighborhood, which only has a Dairy Queen, Macy's and Spencer's are met with protest. Let it go folks and get Paint.NET. Oh and Snip > Snipping tool
  • Never let MS buy Paint .NET, they would destroy this best free PhotoShop in the market. I don't mind they put paint in the store, but, I do care it must be pre-installed and have user uninstall it later. Because when I go to someone's PC, I don't want to install a new app just to do basic things. Imagine you get a phone and there is nothing on it, you need to install, Call App, Contact App, Photo App, Camera App, Settings App, SMS App, Music App, that would be insane. Same wtih Paint. When I use someone's PC, Paint is way more reliable because I know it is always there, I don't have to install Paint .NET.
  • Yeah, I wouldn't trust Microsoft on buying things and continue to support, improve or even take care of it. Just leave Paint.NET alone and flourish on its own. It got its own market already and a great alternative to paid solutions.
  • Why do people think MS need to buy everything? Paint.NET is a free (open source possibly) app anyway
  • I don't know how anyone can take my "I don't know why MS never bought Paint.NET" comment and transform that into "MS should buy Paint.NET!".
  • Comments are sometimes just aimed at fans here in general. Everybody seems to suggest MS should buy everything
  • Re. Paint 3D:  "I don't even know how to put an arrow in a pasted image, or resize an image by pixel count. You know, the simple stuff for photos so I can juxtapose two things for a cheap laugh on Twitter. Serious business." 2D shapes are found under Stickers.  Resizing (by percentage or pixels) is under Canvas, and you can choose to scale the image with the canvas or not. I found this stuff no trouble just by poking around a bit. But I'm not sure what it says about the future of the platform that an experienced user such as yourself can't (or won't) take the time to learn something new. That, of course, may be the "bigger problem" you are referring to.
  • I use paint for all the artwork in my books... I would freak out without it
  • snipping tool..... Ive already moved to screen sketch.
  • Daniel, I do not believe that the "Problem" resides only with "nostalgic" users. There is one thing when MS does a restart, and it is called jump start. Instead of developing a successor with a feature set that AT LEAST is close to the predecessor, they throw it to the users not half done, but in the best case a quarter done. I believe Groove still can't play from a CD, and I cant'r rip the CD with Groove. Yet I have that CD which needs to be transferred into the digital world. So I have to use the good old Media Player. Similar things occured with Fotos (the importing feature is still not on par feature-wise with the old program), and with WP7, and and and. I understand getting slimmer is necessary, but the way MS is doing it does nothing to make the users content, to make them feel that at MS there is dedication, that the SW designers are fans of their own product.  (Which sadly was blatantly obvoius with WP, btw).
  • MS has always been horrible with How Tos and Tutorials as clicking Help sometimes brings you nowhere. Back in the day software came with instructions, which would be welcomed with Paint 3D.
  • This isn't a problem. Microsoft has a very large group of devoted people who like what they use, and are vocal about it. That is better than the competing company that has a very small group of devoted people who, after being told what to believe by their favorite company, accept their marching orders and go along without question like the drones that they are.
  • The blame is all on Microsoft. Instead of continually developing and improving Paint (and the rest of Windows) and morphing it into Paint 3D over the years, it simply forces users to take a steep learning from scratch. should have been part of Windows since Windows Vista to ease the transition and it should have retained the same name that people got to know and love as a simple, basic image editing application.... PAINT. I don't and never used Paint personally. I use on a daily basis however. Products are successful because they evolve and mature over the years. Word, Visual Studio, OneNote come to mind. On another note, UWP is sadly still too unstable in my honest opinion. Too many times I had Paint 3D crashing for me, or simply fails to run. Sad, but true. WPF took years to take off too, but now many people got to love it and the same Visual Studio environment uses WPF. UWP on the other hand... MEH.
  • Now hey! Windows Media Center is legit! I've had the same PC connected to my TV since 2007, and it's gone from Vista to 7 to 8 to 8.1, and that's where it ends. Prior to that, I had a different PC connected from 2005 to 2007, running XP with Media Center. This is vital.
  • Here is the best solution: most people who use paint use it for productivity not fun. Paint 3D looks like it is targeted for fun. They need something for productivity. They can rewrite paint as a UWP app. Look at Office mobile. You can totally design something for productivity that has all the functionality for paint as a UWP app. I know that Paint 3D has most of the features needed. But I don't see myself using it at work.
  • Think I only use paint for editing a print screen when I need a screen shot showing the mouse and right click menu as the snipping tool doesn't let you show that.
  • I keep wondering when they're going to do something with the Snipping Tool. 'Snip' from Microsoft Garage showed how good a modern version could be (even though it's still an old school exe file) and yet it's not been updated not integrated into the OS for two (three?) years now.
  • Has anyone complaining used Paint 3d? I just opened it for the first time and can do everything paint could. Took about 2 minutes to click through the menu items and see what's there. Paint 3d looks better, has an easier to use interface, and can do what paint does. I don't understand why anyone would complain.
  • Groove is not a suitable replacement for Windows Media Player either. Too much new, not enough old.
  • That's called nostalgia and it's an affliction you get over eventually and move on with the rest of the world!!!
  • OP is correct, Groove cannot rip or even play CDs. I just put a CD in my insider PC and confirmed. Also doesn't handle internet radio playlists. Websites say "Listen by installing the iPhone/Android" app now when they should also say "Listen in Groove" as they used to "Listen in Windows Media Player".
  • If for the sake of just wanting the old, yes that's just nostalgia, but the thing is there are necessary functionalities that WMP have that Groove still lacks is the problem. We don't need every single feature especially legacy ones, but things like not able to RIP CD's which is still a thing especially when you are aiming to get lossless format, a rating system that can actually help their recommendations, and even DLNA that is still pretty modern that WMP got.
      We can't even transfer music to our phones using Groove, which is a bummer really. Yes, OneDrive? Don't expect everybody uses it or must use it for that sole purpose. Also using the cloud to transfer is a very inefficient way of just transferring music that you already own and have a file. We seem to have a serious problem with too much reliance on the cloud even for basic things as if we are turning our devices into a dumb terminal again.
  • Come back when Groove can do rating, dynamically search my library, make smart playlists, and sync playlists to a phone or PMP. Windwos Media Player has been doing all these since version 11 released in 2006.
  • "That's called nostalgia and it's an affliction you get over eventually and move on with the rest of the world!!!" Oh, grow up!  The reason Groove is not a suitable replacement for WMP is because a load of functionality has gone missing! Sheesh.
  • That's the problem with most Microsoft store apps. They focus on the new features, forgetting all the basics. Where's my damn CD playback & ripping!?
  • Call my a cynic, but I have to believe Microsoft knew exactly what they were doing here. They never had any real intention of removing Paint completely. I contend they purposely bungled the communication (yes, really) just to illicit an outcry, which they could quickly "solve" by announcing a Store-based app solution, thereby driving awareness of said Store. If you notice in the original announcement (it has since been edited), it's the only item that contains no further explanation. See below: Folks, they wanted us to freak out. They wanted the media to cover it. They wanted people to show their love for Paint. Also, for the record, Paint 3D is a complete, feature-for-feature replacement for Paint. Those of you who say otherwise are simply wrong and stuck in your ways. I'll challenge any one of you to show me something you can do in Paint that you can't accomplish using Paint 3D. I dare you.
  • Okay, let's accept that you're correct.  I would argue that there is absolutely NOTHING intuitive in the way Paint 3D works,  I am unable to QUICKLY access any of the features in Paint 3D that exist in MS Paint, and in some case unable to find them at all.  It looks like and acts like a toy app more than anything.  For the record, when Paint 3D first came out I WANTED to like it and was somewhat excited that Microsoft was doing something fresh with.  Then I discovered it was almost impossible to figure out how to do the most common editing I could do in MS Paint.  After a couple of weeks or wrestling with I gave up.
  • It would be wrong to blame customers/users for any of this.  An increasing number of likable and good features have been removed since Windows 7.  People are rightfully on their guard now.
  • I love the end... Better not touch my virtual scissors!!! ✂ ✂ ✂
  • As an aside, WHICH Snipping Tool are you referring to?  I've been installing and using Microsoft Snip since it came out a couple of years ago.  I'm not sure what it's future is, but I actually find it to be better than the original Snipping Tool.   Anyway, I agree with your article.  The thing about MS Paint is that it has become a very fast, very easy to use program to do very specific types of picture editing.  If, as you mentioned, I need to adjust/crop pictures QUICKLY based on pixels or percentage, etc., throw text images on a picture, there's nothing like having that already there with the OS.  Most other programs with the capabilities of MS Paint cost or are very bulky and slow.  I'm fully on board with MS turning it into a Store app.  I'm fine with them deciding, once moved, they plan to never update it.  BUT, until Paint 3D has at LEAST the features of MS Paint and becomes MUCH easier to use (I maintain Paint 3D is completely user-spiteful), I'll never suggest people use it.  I've already switched to using for most heavier editing.  For somethings (here's a throwback for you), I actually also rely heavily on Microsoft Expression Design 4, which is still available free from Microsoft.
  • "WHICH Snipping Tool are you referring to?"
    Just "Snipping Tool". Type it into the search box. Native app for Windows, actually had a small refresh with the Creators Update.
  • There's a few issue I have with Paint 3D.
    Resize quality on Paint 3D is inferior compared to nearest neighbour resize in MSPaint.
    Try pasting image in Paint3D > Rezise canvas to 50% (w/ Adjust my image as well).
    Compare it to MSPaint and you'll see the difference that text becomes unreadable in Paint3D, but still readable on the resize of MSPaint. Second issue is that its always in 3D Mode despite doing 2D stuff, it bogs down system on low end devices, such as Atom Chipsets especially with limited RAM. While MSPaint will run on resources equivalent to 386SX machine fine. In many other cases, I believe that Paint 3D can replace MSPaint since it has more feature.
    So hopefully they fix those two issues.
    I use MSPaint regularly as a Clipboard image paster or rasterizing images from Photoshop clipboard into regular bitmap clipboard before posting into a social media/messaging/email etc.
  • Because MS has bad history to replace the existing apps with another unfinished products, e.g. Edge vs ie, MSN messenger vs Skype, etc
  • Hahaha, the writers again don't understand what it's like having a corporate images computer where you can't install anything. The removal of anything user facing utility out of the box is a crisis for productivity. I've since added feedback to the Feedback hub about what I think is so wrong about Paint 3D, apart from missing features, the UI is terrible and inconsistent with all other Microsoft productivity apps, including MS Paint which is consistent with Office etc...
  • Interesting that you mention Snipping Tool. As a tech support, getting screenshots and then doing scribbles on them require me to use both Snipping Tool and Paint. I'd like to see Snipping Tool with more tools than just Pen and Highlighter. The preset shapes and text feature would really put aside Paint for my said goal.
  • Wish they just do that with windows media player already or open source it
  • If MS had released a suitable replacement for Windows Media Center, there would be no outcry. As it is, a program released in 2005 is STILL better than current 3rd party (or 1st party) alternatives for watching and recording live TV.
  • Still in love with Media Center using the Microsoft Media remote with the infrared receptor. Give me another app more modern that works with the remote control and I'll upgrade, until then the PC connected to my TV will run Windows 7.
  • About the only time I ever use it is when I am showing someone else on their computer how to take a screen shot using the 'PrtScn' button and paste it into Paint and then crop and save it.  Most of them don't have a clue that it can be done.  It's really handy to have and knowing that everyone with a Windows computer has it available makes it easy.
  • I use paint almost every day and I can't live without it. Paint 3D suffers from the same problem that MANY UWP apps do, which is: Great new features, yet lacking basic features (Edge and Groove especially). Paint is very basic, but as Daniel said himself, it can be used for QUICK and EASY cropping, highlighting and casual nonsense-drawing now and then. It's like notepad of images. If they tried replacing notepad with... Word Mobile or something like that you'd get an even bigger backlash. Notepad and Paint are are the two apps that should never be removed or changed in any significant way! It's not that we refuse to move on, I love Windows 10, It's just that Notepad and Paint have reached perfection in their own categories.
  • See how you get two mind sets.  it comes down always to people who care And people that Dont. Am alright jack. it dont matter to me so i dont care. Let the comapanies do what they want damn the little people. They should pay for it, they shouldnt complain its progress, i dont care jack because i dont use it. Negative. Very. Until one day it is them that is loosing something. And they will cry like babies. And when there is nobody to cry to and nobody wants to listen they will wonder why.!!! We need more care in the world not less. Modern is not less. never has been Only just become that way. Bad mindset. Less for more cost. It is not progress. Not for the people.  It is for the companies. and that is the issue today, the peopel have to pay out more cost and the companies give you less and they call it modernization. Liek they are giving you something for free. yet that is the point they are not givign you anything they are taking away and calling it progress. Be careful what you wish for. start caring while you still have a vioce use it. Though there wil be those that dont want you to complain and think you shouldnt. They are usually the ones on the winning side. Damn them.!!!
  • "Notepad and Paint are are the two apps that should never be removed or changed in any significant way!"
    Agreed 100%!!!
  • I don't mind removing paint, but I really really need the snipping tool still. I use that all the flipping time.
  • Creators Update has added a SHIFT+WIN+S shortcut just to let you frame your screen and BAM! copied it into the clipboard. I understand Snipping Tool has even freeform clipping. But other than that, isn't what's baked into the OS enough?
  • While they're at it, they should remove all of the non core operating system parts and let us download only what we need. Stop bundling stuff.
  • That's ridiculous ! A simple yet effective graphic/ paint app is absolutely required as an essential for any computer that is ready for purchase.... that means as a preloaded program with the 0S.
    I shall tell you why.
    If a computer comes with a Stylus , the prospective user needs to test the hardware in store.This means specifically, pressure sensitivity, tilt, direction , accuracy and fidelity. Just for starters.
    No one is investing thousands of dollars on untested machinery.
    Have you ever tried that with Ms Paint? What a piece of junk that is! They should have curbed it years ago and replaced it with ANY THING.
    But for some noisy weirdos who seem to be nostalgic for it, perhaps some sensible replacement would have hit the scene years ago, allowing for further development in a positive, forward direction.
    Some people have a very one eyed point of view. . . .wink
  • Great article Daniel! You put into simple words what I've been saying for years. a lot of people on the internet are lunatics, but unfortunately laymen's tend to listen to these lunatics. These are the very people that are at the source of the anti Microsoft rhetoric. Being a technology professional having to support old work is time consuming and expensive. Get over it complainers! its called progress. Stop complaining you want modern technology then complain when it actually happens. Make me think your just miserable and it has nothing to do with "Windows" or "Microsoft"
  • It is not progress to give less for more cost. Bad mindset. Very bad mindset. Damn the little people in other words. Disgusting.
  • Dan, if you think end users are in anyway wrong for voicing their concern, go back 4 years to the Xbox One launch and look what happened. MS is still playing catchup after millions went to PlayStation...Guess what phone pissed off Zune users migrated too, hint: It ain't W10M.......
  • Not really sure I said they're wrong, but some of it was out of proportion to actual usage of the app. I think this is more on Microsoft for bad messaging and not making Paint 3D useful enough for Paint users.
  • In my personal opinion, the reason that this whole mess came about is more to do with the loud and shouty nature of the internet, and because of people making a silly fuss, than it is to do with Microsoft. A bunch of people who are too cheap to buy Photoshop Elements, or aren't technical enough to download one of the million or so opensource competitors that do everything that Paint does and more, kicked up a big fuss about a program that they use 3-4 times a year to crops screen shots of error messages for online help forums, or to draw arrows on to screen shots to reply to posts on online help forums. The rest of the people who use Paint either understood what the word "Depricated" meant, or they used an alternative package and didn't say anything. In this day and age it's frankly obsurd that a company like Microsoft needs to listen to the first group of people, or that it gets bad publicity for something as simple as depricating an ancient program in favor of a newer and more fully featured on. Particularly since it's totally free. People should be more concerned about the fact that Microsoft had to respond than the fact that a few loud people were unhappy.
  • ignore them if you want, and MS blew the momentum coming off the XBOX 360 cause a few loud people bitched and moaned about the XBOX One reveal...
  • Iam sorry but i disagree.  So your saying damn the people that are unhappy and continue forward anyway. Very negative, Iam shocked that microsoft didnt do that. like the time they tried to charge people for fixing the faulty xbox360s and the courts made them fix them for free and keep to the law.   And the warrentys. Even thou the machines usually got the red ring of death after a year microsoft still came out on top and charged to fix something that was faulty in nature so they won in the end and made more and sold more consoles because of the faulty xbox360s only lasting a year or 2 meant you always had to buy a new one or get them fixed.  It was down to bad design and bad airflow heating up the motherboard and warping the board so much that the solder on the chips would break away casing red ring of death. They chose to put a bigger heat sink over the CPU. adn a big DVD Drive over teh GPU. You think a company that was involved in computers would know better. and be more concerned about the GPUS cooling. The little people lost and was ignored. Anyway. Moving on.  More and more we are seeing big corperations damn the little people and that is exactly what you  are putting forward in your statement. Damn the little people who like a product they have alkwasy used and know well and something that is cheap.  Lets have less for more cost. I really hope this is not a common idea. I find it very positive microsoft listened. This is called good customer service, what would concern me is if they didnt listen not if they did. Damning the little people is not progress. You see its not just about paint is it. its about a mindet that always gives you less that is what peopel are fighting agianst and rightly so, I bet half of the people didnt really care about paint that much it was a point of taking something away and calling it modernized. Calling it more.  This is what they do, they say they are taking something away to make it better for you. it  is a lie. it is better for them. And we should alway fight to make sure we are not the ones always getting less for more cost. Having to go spend money for something you use to get for free, Not everyone has Riches to go out and pay for expensive software. That does not mean they are cheap. It means they just dont have as much as you.  seems am not allowed to use the M word the stuff that makes the world go round. see always taking away.  ?
  • "Paintgate?" Lol
  • haha. the conspiracy rises. 
  • Microsoft has one huge communication problem. Again and again and again... If the intended to bring Paint to the store they should have done it, before ripping it out of Windows. Even though Paint isn't worth crying for...
  • Uh, well, since it's still in Windows 10 (even the Insider's Builds), they have notified us before ripping it out. You can complain that they should have told us at the same time, but hell, it doesn't get "ripped" out for most users until late 2017 or early 2018. By then, Paint will likely be in the store.
  • Maybe what they would enjoy is taking away our voice. When they streamline the internet maybe they will find a way to shut us all up. so we cant complain about them removing things we want to keep. Streamlined is just another word for less not more. Modernization is a move to give you less for your money. this is the mindset we are up agianst. If taking something away depreciates the item in question giving you something that has less features that you want to keep then maybe that is something they should leave alone not take away. This mindset will always give you less and less, this is not modernizing you should always be getting more features better products. Not lesser products and lesser features.
  • Lets be honest. when push comes to shove, Mickeysoft will do anything it wants to, irrespective of how it effects it's poor "locked in" users. They have never given any real thought for the users of Windows themselves, the are just grist for the mill, Mickey just wants more and more money and more "power", and nowadays, that means the MS Office Family of software, so everything is done in Windows to support that platform at the expense of everything else..
  • Your article represents the typical arrogance that the new is better than the old. If a company provides a valued service then users expect out to continue. They treat withdrawal as a breach of trust. The best example is Microsoft Money. A brilliant program which continues to work well despite not having been updated for more than a decade. There is nothing new on the market to touch it.
  • I am sure there are many Google and Apple fanboys to stupidly complain a lot about Microsoft.
  • IMHO, paint 3D is the way to go, it all the features and even more that the paint has.
  • Paint is a waste of space, Paint 3d is barely an improvement. Ditch paint and put a lot more effort and features in paint 3d and make it worth the space it takes and all the hoopla that currently neither deserve.
  • You're right. Paint 3D is not an improvement, but a new program designed to 'modernize' the age old paint.
  • MS Paint is an OS utility, like Notepad and the Snipping Tool.  Utilities are practical and intended to address basic computer tasks.  MS Paint makes the cut.  It's worked well for over three decades.  I still use it -- more than Notepad, in fact (though less than the Snipping Tool).  I'm happy that it isn't being eliminated.  Paint 3D is lively but I find no personal use for it.  
  • since they added win+s for snipping screenshots in win10cu I did not open the snipping tool once... ;P
  • Paint is great for cropping and resizing photos, something I need to do a lot since my phone takes such huge mega pixel photos. I agree that it is utility and definitely should be in the STORE instead of bundled with the OS. So good on MS for recognizing this. I think Windows 10 is a great time for MS to sit back and think about what is OS and what is APP STORE material. Just because it has been bundled in the past does not mean it needs to be bundled in the future.
  • You can do all that in Paint 3D  in exactly the same way. If not slightly improved. 
  • I agree that CROP is easy but I could not find the PICTURE RESIZE option that I like to use. @Windows Central - can someone please fix the REPLY ERROR I keep getting in MS EDGE Browser.  
  • Reality is, that this whole "fiasco"  is a press-made situation about something almost nobody uses except, maybe to copy paste screenshots.  It was ridiculous to the level of pathetic. The more legitimate websites like yours and others here give voice to these morons, the more will come out. I understad when everyone is writing about it you can't miss out on the buzz. But at least try to always put it in the right perspective.  Windows 8 was ruined by this, Windows Phone too. Eventually the common user who is merely a sheep, gets scared when they read nonsense like this in mainstream media. 
  • Too funny, calling windows 10 a "modern" os when all of the UWP junk is nothing more than phone apps shoehorned onto the desktop, they're horribly regressive and take desktop computing backwards. MacOS is vastly more modern and functional, apple isn't dumbing-down their desktop at all, I don't think any of the fanboys would know what "modern" is if it smacked them in the face.
  • Oh god how th this comment is soo ironic. Fyi, Apple tries to follow up Surface strategy by instead advertising the iPad as a real competitor to the PC.
  • Where have all the EMOJIS gone?
    My PC just upgraded to the latest Windows 10 edition (BUILD 15063), and I have discovered that the on screen keyboard no longer has the EMOJI option. This makes it very difficult to put any smiley faces into this post, so please excuse the lack of emotion. Now how do I get them back?
  • press the Windows key and the . (period) key
  • Let's just hope adding it to the store doesn't involve adding advertising to it in the same way that Microsoft has gimped Solitaire, etc. Ain't nobody got time for that crap.
  • Its yet another example of how out of touch Microsofts decision makers are with the users in the world.  Start Button removal, Skype debacle, Zune debacle, Windows ME, Windows Phone/Mobile, Placeholders Removal, Back tracking on unlimited Onedrive storage... They need an urgent upheaval and redesign on capturing the 'mood' instead of relying 100% on Big Data.  There is not a single company out there that has made money from Big Data implementations, not a single company...
  • something something rhymes on oogle.....
  • Modernizing is not just different look UI, IoT, merging mobile tablets and desktop into one, UWP .NET and a bunch of buzzwords. I have nothing against tiles actually I liked Zune a lot, but making the UI cool as if it is the main thing is not that professional. Developers these days seem to lose track of how an OS works, and if a framework does not give them the option to do something only the best of them will know how to solve their problem. Even if we do live in the 21st century our CPUs are still Von-Neumann machines getting faster and faster but parallel paradigms are primitive to the core. Parallel CPUs are nowhere to be found and Parallel OS do not really exist. And why should they if the makers get by making tons of money of unsophisticated sequential hardware and software and have the audacity to yap about artificial intelligence. So called modern apps are all full screen apps basically because little phone screens will be unusable with overlapping apps, but you know what, not having overlapping windows on our larger screens is a step back. I know you can still run VS on Windows 10 and get overlapping windows, but talking about Paint and loving it so much even if it is so basic is because it is an “old” type app with resizable boarders and an overlapping main window. As for Paint 3D I cannot install it because I have an enterprise edition of W10, and can’t update for the right version needed to run it. That’s some modern OS.
  • I've gone back to paint as it can properly and simply resized images (NOT crop), I've gone back to Media Player so I can rip CDs and have better clearer information when playing video, and I went back to Photo Viewer because 'Photos' zooms in by default and I want to see the whole picture outside of edit mode. I've even started using IE again, so I can watch SkyGo without issue. On top of that, I can use the same tools at work, where the Store is blocked. I may even drop Outlook (and even Office 365), as MS are no longer letting me sign in to the outlook app with my original account name (my own domain), and tell me I have to use an from now on. I'm all up for modernising, but not at the expense of functionality.  
  • The whole 'Paint' thingy just strengtens my opinion that everybody wants to complain about everything these days. Snowflakes gonna rule the interwebzzzz.......
    And when it's MS, it's just the cherry on top........... I agree on the fact that ALL legacy apps should be removed from Windows, and - if there's still a purpose for them - be added to the Store.
    It will make for a cleaner Windows install and less clutter and old code. There is a TON of (free) alternatives out there, even ones that don't need to be installed. So even people working in tightly controlled working enviroments (no install allowed) should be fine. All this is just rediculous, and all tech websites that made a big fuzz about this should be very, very ashamed of themselves..... my € 0.02
  • I use Paint a couple times a day, but I understand the retirement.  If 3D paint does all the same things, I'm good.  Good article.