Microsoft has had a long and interesting relationship with its venerable “Paint” app.
Most people are familiar with Paint. It’s been around since the earliest versions of Windows and let’s be honest it was never a great application.
It allows users to do the basics but it was quickly eclipsed by more robust and feature-rich programs.
How many people would make the claim that Paint stacks up well against Photoshop, GIMP, or Paintshop Pro? Very few indeed.
Nonetheless Paint has a loyal and vocal following. Microsoft found that out not long ago when they retired the app temporarily while replacing it with the new Paint 3D. This led to a near-rebellion against Microsoft and Paint’s supporters were so insistent that the app be brought out of retirement that the company bowed to the wishes of its customers. The company left open the possibility that they may retire it once and for all at some later date.
Microsoft seems to have changed their collective minds because recently Paint got an overhaul that gives it a new aesthetic in line with the new sleeker look of Windows 11. The changes amount to tweaks to the UI rather than a major upgrade to functionality and Microsoft is billing it as a “modern spin on the classic app.”
Paint fans should be pleased. The recent change underscores the company’s commitment to keeping the app alive even if it is no longer as an integrated component of Windows but as a free app available on the Microsoft store.
Overall it’s very good news. It costs Microsoft very little to keep the app around even given the modest expense associated with updating the UI. It keeps a small but vocal segment of their user base happy. That sounds like a win for everyone.