After More Than Three Decades, Microsoft Paint Will Retire

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One of the most ubiquitous accessories found in the Microsoft Windows operating system has reached the end of its supported life. Microsoft Paint, a simple graphics creation and editing application that was first shipped with Windows 1.0 in 1985, will be subject to deprecation when the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released later in 2017, which means that this accessory may be completely removed from Windows in the near future.

Although MS Paint is quite limited in terms of tools and features, it has managed to achieve an endearing reputation among Windows users, especially those who are new to computer graphics imaging. According to a report published by British newspaper The Guardian, MS Paint was a beloved software application in the 1990s even if at the time it did not support file formats such as JPEG, which would later become internet image standards. In fact, MS Paint handled .bmp and .pcx formats exclusively until 1998.

While MS Paint received a long-awaited overhaul in Windows 7, many users considered it underwhelming at a time when applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Google Picasa and even the open source GIMP were clearly superior. The familiarity of the MS Paint tools resulted in Paint.NET, a friendly and powerful alternative that many users have embraced for years. This is not to say that Microsoft completely ignored image editing; some Microsoft Office tools such as Picture Manager are still being used by digital publishers.

Over the years, computer graphic designers have painstakingly created amazing works of art using the unsophisticated and rustic MS Paint tools, which can be maddeningly difficult to handle. MS Paint artwork galleries are legendary in certain internet circles, and the accessory itself is the subject of hilarious memes that question its usefulness in an era of Instagram filters.

To a great extent, MS Paint was already replaced by Paint 3D, which has been welcomed Windows 10 users whose devices could handle the system requirements of the first Creators Update. Paint is not the only Windows accessory marked for deprecation. Outlook Express, a watered-down version of the powerful Outlook email app is also on the list for future deprecation along with the MS Reader app, which never managed to become as popular as the Amazon Kindle and other eBook apps.

Microsoft has not set a clear date when MS Paint will be officially retired, but deprecated software often goes away silently within a couple of years.

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