Paint.NET developer comments more on plans to bring app to Windows Store

paint.net light theme
paint.net light theme (Image credit: paint.net)

Recently, the developer behind the popular image editing app Paint.NET announced plans to bring it to the Windows Store. In a new post on the Paint.NET blog (via Neowin), developer Rick Brewster has gone into a bit more detail on his plans, though an exact release date still remains a mystery.

In his initial post, Brewster noted that he would work to release version 4.0.17 of the app before moving onto the Windows Store version. While we don't have a precise release window, Brewster's latest post does lay out a general timeline of what needs to be done:

I'm traveling for work right now but when I'm back, my plan is: 1) release 4.0.17 which has some important fixes for performance and high-DPI, and then 2) focus exclusively on bringing 4.0.17 to the Windows Store. I'd love to give a date but I've always gotten them wrong. There may also be a 1.5) or a 3) in there because my code signing certificate is expiring soon and obviously I need to renew it. Hopefully that won't be too onerous.

As far as pricing is concerned, Brewster says his current plans are to release the app for free. It sounds as if the Windows Store version will eventually be monetized in some manner, but that exact method remains up in the air for now.

To recap, Paint.NET originally hit the scene in 2004 as a relatively simple, but handy image editor. The project has been consistently evolving over the years and it has a group of devoted users. The Windows Store version of the app will be a desktop conversion utilizing Microsoft's desktop app bridge — a tool that was also recently used to bring another handy image tool, IrfanView, to the Store.

For now, if you're interested in trying out Paint.NET, you can grab the latest desktop version of the app from the Paint.NET website.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

18 Comments
  • Will paint.net work on phone?
  • the answer is still the same as the last time you asked
  • LOL
  • Lol... Be nice. 😂
  • 😂😂😂😂 Well... We all hope these legacy apps all one day will be made into UWP apps... And, we all hope that a "Surface Phone" will be able to take advantage of that... The plan for Windows relevance in mobile is real productivity, power, and usefulness. That's what we're counting on.
  • Only if your phone is running a full copy of Win 10...even Win 10 S.
  • Not until windows on arm forces developers hands by running win32's at lesser speeds than UWPs. 
  • Sounds great! I'm a professional web & software developer, so I often have to manipulate images on a daily basis. Paint.NET has been my main image editor for at least 11 years. I used to use GIMP and even Photoshop, but back in those days I would be finished editing my image in Paint.NET by the time Photoshop even finished loading. It's great for doing things quickly, but I still leave the real heavy lifting to graphic designers with Photoshop/InDesign etc. I don't really *need* an app version as I already have the desktop version installed, but I'll be sure to check it out on my SP3.
  • Ditto 🙂
  • I really want to use paint.net and gimp, but things that are basic tools in photoshop like dodge/burn aren't soo simple to do in either free application.  If I ever need to do a lot of editing, i'll probably just do the adobe subscription.  Paint.net and gimp are great otherwise in their own ways.
  • I'm not actually a great fan of Centennial (app bridge). It will certainly result in more Win32 apps winding up in the store, but they will still be Win32 apps. They will be no more touch/pen aware, or format flexible than they were as Win32 applications. Irfanview has the same tiny UI elements it always had, and when you resize, it just cuts off what doesn't fit. Do this with Mail, or Weather and the elements on the screen reconfigure themselves as the size of the window varies. You get more apps, but you don't get many of the features that make UWP apps desireable. I can't fault developers in grabbing this shortcut, MS is doing the same thing. They are 'wrapping' Office, which has never been touch friendly in the same way, at the expense of Mobile Office. (with the exception of OneNote) If MS isn't even motivated to build decent UWP versions of their own apps, why should anyone else? If you are just going to Centennial everything, why even bother. Just run the W32 app and be done with it. If UWP is the little town on the highway, Centennial is the bypass that will kill the town.
  • Nothing personal against you, but I get tired of hearing the "if MS isn't motivated to build UWP, why should I/anyone else?" Microsoft IS building UWP apps, but one of the barriers for not just Microsoft but any developer is that the APIs aren't all there yet, so there may be some win32 apps that cannot be totally built as UWP. Now the problem is going from zero to full APIs equal to win32 is not an overnight process, so no matter what there's going to be this inbetween limbo. Centennial is a stepping stone, not a final destination.
  • @SvenJ, Centennial puts apps in the Store, which makes it more attractive to users, which means more traffic, which ultimately means more full UWP apps.
  • You seem to be very shortsighted of the several other benefits of having Win32 apps come via the store. 1.) Automatic and seamless updates of every application, all from 1 place. Just like Windows and its components gets updated automatically and seamlessly without any additional configuration or walk around by the user, all via Windows Update, the Windows Store apps bring the same seamless experience. All without you needing to go into individual Win32 apps and checking for updates, nor do you need to configure some silent background updater for each and every WIn32 app, which can be wasteful of system resources, potentially slowing your computer down. 2.) If you don't like an app, it's 2 clicks away from being completely obliterated from your computer like it never existed on it before. No need for advanced uninstaller applications like Revo Uninstaller Pro to check for junk files/registry entries left over by the application uninstaller. No worrying about left over junk registry entries causing system errors/slow downs. 3.) If an application starts misbehaving after some time of use for whatever reason, you can easily reset it back to its fresh installation state via Apps & Features > App Name > Advanced Options > Reset. No more uninstall, restart your computer to complete the uninstall process, then reinstall. No more worrying about dev's own uninstaller supporting the "Repair"/"Change" functions in Control Panel. This works for every app from the store, no matter how advanced, even extremely versatile applications like Kodi. 4.) With the Win32 app converted to UWP via the centennial bridge, it can automatically start taking advantage of handy time-saving directories when managing files. For example, if I want to open a picture from a centenial application, I can open it directly from my dropbox without needing to first save the file from my dropbox to my computer ( https://db.tt/b3JzXriT ). Also, if I want to save a file, I can save it directly to my dropbox and it'll no longer be using up space on my PC. These special directories also enable you to open picture files directly from the camera without needing to first take and save it, then browse for it on your computer. 5.) With the Win32 app on the store, it could potentially get discovered by a much wider audience, leading to more downloads, leading to more feedback to devs, encouraging devs to speed up the process of making their app suitable for all screen sizes and forms of input on the UWP, and implementing support for features like live tiles, push notifications, share panel support, etc. And again, that gets automatically and seamlessly delivered to customers without them needing to check for updates in the specific app. I'd much rather get ALL my Win32 apps via the store on my Surface Pro 2 just for the former 4 benefits, even if the latter benefit isn't guaranteed. Also, FYI, the full Office 2016 is both mouse/keyboard firendly ( https://db.tt/KRwvLvA1 ) and pen/touch friendly ( https://db.tt/fckJaLQ6 ), thanks to Continuum support. Do your research before talking.
  • Thank you!
  • Ah, no.   Centennial bridge is a part-way UWP. It utilises some UWP api's and puts the program in a appx wrapper. This way, its less work to make it into a full UWP, which will be attractive once windows on arm, makes all win32's run at suboptimal speeds. To use a common phrase its a "foot in the door", a phase one, if you will. In that sense, the more centennials the better. Its one step closer to getting full desktop apps entirely across the bridges to UWP.  Similarly the more people look in the store, the more attractive it is to just code UWP in the first place, and reduce code and get your app onto i windows 10 mobile, windows 10, mixed reality and xbox in one swoop. In fact, most UWP coding for apps and games is focused on the desktop right now (tablet, laptop and desktop rather). So desktop really is the bridge, to bringing that power and quality software to other devices, even if thats initially centennial half way house stuff. 
  • Great news. My favorite replacement for the original Paint. MS Paint 3D is horrible.
  • Why is the centennial bridge required for .net source?  If Bill were at the helm, Visual Studio would have been able to convert most projects on release day with only minor refactoring.   In those days, installing the latest Visual Studio and quickly converting your code was fun and seemed productive.  I think Bill must have had a no source left behind policy. It's very different today. I still have production Silverlight projects that no one wants to pay to upgrade.  I can't even use VS 2017 to open them or let alone convert them to UWP or core.  My WPF and forms projects convert fine to the latest .net but not UWP.    I "wisely" moved many of them to Silverlight as that was the thing 7 years ago. I can't start a business case for UWP because they have to move from Windows 7 first.   Microsoft should not have coupled UWP to the OS and it should be open to install like Java or at least .net.  Once we have UWP, it isn't going be as fun as Silverlight in part due to the extra change management paperwork required to deploy.  I can't be the only one in this mess.  Big fan of Paint.net!