After 32 years, Microsoft Paint is set to disappear from future
Windows installations. The next update will see MS Paint replaced by
Paint 3D. It has appeared on Windows since the very first version of the
operating system, which was back in 1985. Lets face it – no great web designs
were created with it…but it may be missed by a few!
Microsoft Paint was originally a version of ZSoft’s PC Paintbrush
published in November 1985. It only had 1 bit graphics, which was great
if you had a black and white printer. Therefore, various shades of grey
were denoted by their stippling effects. It is hard to imagine how
limited PC Paintbrush was alongside equivalents on 8-bit machines like
the Atari 800 (with The Designer’s Pencil
) and the Commodore 64 (with KoalaPad
This was consistent with hardware limitations at the time. State of
the art in 1985 was the 80286 processor; the Apple Macintosh was in full
swing, with Pagemaker
the DTP package of choice. The average
PC, in CGA mode could only show four colours from a sixteen colour
palette: black, white, cyan, and magenta were popular.
At first, Microsoft Paint only supported its own file format. Come
Windows 3.1, BMP was the default format. This was followed by
compatibility for JPG, GIF, TIF, and PNG formats. This materialised in
1998 when Windows ‘98, and the need to support internet file formats
came to the fore.
Due to its limitations, when compared with the Adobe Creative Suite
programs and other professional packages, it became a popular program
for pixel art. It inspired pixel artist Jim’ll Paint It to create – for
free – satirical images with Microsoft Paint. If you look at his work,
it leaves our background image (which we have done in MS Paint for old
times’ sake) standing in the dust. His patience is astounding.
Will we miss Microsoft Paint? As a worthwhile package for messing
about with, yes. Well, it has been nice knowing you and who knows, its
replacement could have a cult following.
, 25 July 2017.
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