It's okay. MS Paint isn't going away (yet)

Ask most designers and artists what their go-to creative software is, and the answer's unlikely to surprise you. It's almost certain to be Photoshop CC (opens in new tab), Affinity Photo or Procreate, with perhaps some weird outliers plumping for the likes of GIMP. 

But for some people the venerable Microsoft Paint is still number one, and when Microsoft recently suggested it was going to be taking their beloved digital art package away, these loyal folk were decidedly upset.

Microsoft Paint product alert

This product alert has put the wind up MS Paint fans

A product alert has appeared in MS Paint of late, warning users that Paint will soon be moving to the Microsoft Store. The warning goes on to explain that it will still be free to download once it moves there, but that's not the point; tradition demands that Paint comes as part of the Windows package.

It's an emotive subject, but it seems that good old Paint has received at least a partial reprieve, as this tweet from Microsoft Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc confirms:

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It's not perhaps the most reassuring of reassurances; LeBlanc is merely confirming that Paint will be be in the next build of Windows 10, and while he says remain in Windows 10 for now, that still suggests that Paint may yet get the plug pulled on it further down the line; after all, this isn't the first time (opens in new tab) that Paint has been let off the hook.

It's easy to see why there's still so much love for MS Paint, 33 years after it originally appeared in Windows 1.0. It might be basic as hell, lacking virtually all the features we take for granted in Photoshop, but for many artists it was their first encounter with any kind of creative software, and an emotional bond like that is tough to break.

Even if you haven't used it in decades – which is fair enough because, let's be honest, it's an utter pain to use and requires hours of intense concentration to produce anything that doesn't look like pixel art (opens in new tab) scrawled by an angry toddler – it's nice to know that MS Paint is still there and giving some people their creative fix. Just look at some of the recent work created with it:

It would be a shame to see it go, especially as there are much more useless apps bundled with Windows 10 that take up a lot more storage.

And while there are people still willing to spend many, many hours producing work like the examples shown here with MS Paint, it would be positively spiteful to remove it from Windows 10. Let's hope Microsoft sees sense and ring-fences it for good.

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Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.