I’ve been using Microsoft Paint since the MS-DOS days. Honestly, it’s fun and I fancied myself as a graphics artist before I landed a software development job. Then the Windows 7 version came along, and it wasn’t as much fun anymore. Paint hasn’t changed much and is still the same in Windows 10, but that could change later this October. Microsoft is finally upgrading Paint worthy of the OS it’s in with a brand new interface, pen support and will include 3D features as well as a new logo. Seeing the demo, I feel excited to use Paint again, maybe on my HP Stream tablet if it can handle it.
I’m betraying my age by saying I began using Paint during the DOS era. My classmate let me borrow his Microsoft Mouse kit which included the driver and paint program on a 5” floppy diskette. Time flies and time flew by as I enjoyed drawing while increasing my dexterity points. I was still ignorant back then about computers and was more interested in computer graphics and games until I learned there was more to computers when I took up Computer Science. I had Windows 3.1 when I hit the 3rd year and enjoyed Microsoft Paintbrush more than ever. I used paint to help create cartoons for our club newsletter. I used it to create my own wallpaper which amazed my classmates. Back then I was into anime. Still into it but now I no longer draw as much. I used Paintbrush to help with my thesis in creating charts, diagrams and manipulating screenshots. I graduated college and still used Paintbrush to complement my development work (buttons, background, etc…) as well as some personal art (some of which I keep ‘til now).
I never graduated past Paint into CorelDraw or Photoshop because I didn’t have the money to purchase them nor did I have the time because of my IT jobs. I did learn GIMP, though. But I still use paint in my current job to create simple drawings like sketch maps (before Google Maps came along), diagrams and even flow charts. From time to time I still make simple doodles. Paint hasn’t changed much but has gradually become unusable for me beginning with Windows 7. My drawing technique depends heavily on the line tool which Microsoft changed by anti-aliasing shapes and lines into objects that can be first dragged around and resized before it’s committed/rasterized on the drawing sheet. To get around it, I use the freeware mspaintxp which emulates the XP version of Paint which commits lines to the sheet as soon as they’re drawn. Since Paintbrush for Windows 3.1, Microsoft introduced some changes which I disliked, and the only best feature is the multi-level undo introduced (correct me if I’m wrong) in Windows XP.
Windows 8 initially came along with an app called Fresh Paint, but it just wasn’t the same. It was too complex to use and is aimed more at real artists and relied heavily on touch. The classic Paint application is still present in desktop mode and has not changed much in Windows 10. The ribbon interface included since Windows 7 is okay.
So now, Microsoft has announced that it will finally upgrade Microsoft Paint giving it the Universal App treatment with a re-designed interface plus 3D object support. The new Paint will still include all of the original’s functionality but users who extensively use Paint like I do might balk at the new interface and might have to re-learn how to do things.
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But the new 3D features look awesome as shown in YouTube video above. It allows for plenty of possibilities for both artists and casual users. It’s unclear whether the Surface Pen or an ordinary stylus is required to bring up the same functionality shown in the video, but the demo looks awesome. It’s unsure whether this is included in the latest Windows 10 Insider update but my machine, unfortunately, did not update properly, and I’m thankful I didn’t suffer the reboot loop. But this new Paint app could appear in a later update after Microsoft’s event later this October where they might announce a rumored all-in-one Surface PC targeted at creative people much like Apple’s iPad Pro. It’s timely as such a computer would need apps like the new Paint to shine which gives the possibility of other upgraded built-in apps. At least for Paint, it’s high-time for an improvement.