It’s a day of mourning for us Windows users. Microsoft Paint will be no mor… ahem, I mean consigned to the Windows Store. Microsoft has officially listed its now-ancient painting app as a deprecated feature. It will be removed from the default Windows installation, replaced by the adequate (if not quite impressive) Paint 3D. It will receive no new updates, and no new features.

It truly is the end of an era…

Microsoft Paint was first introduced to us in 1985, about four years before Photoshop hit the market. In fact, it was released with the very first version of Windows. This means that, for a brief period of time, it enjoyed the distinction of being the most advanced graphics editor for Windows. That didn’t last long, but it happened.

it enjoyed the distinction of being the most advanced graphics editor for Windows

For many of us, Paint was the first graphics editor and drawing app that we ever touched. That was certainly the case for me. As young as the age of ten or so, I was making (absolutely terrible) pixel art on our Windows 98 machine, which was ancient even then. It was a short-lived stepping stone to other creative digital experiments, but it was nonetheless a part of my journey to becoming a web designer.

It seems that I am not alone in my nostalgia. Ever since the news got out, people took to social media to do what they do best, these days: turn this whole situation into a meme. Even now, people are posting and reposting screen captures of Paint in action, and drawings made in the app as their way of saying goodbye.

Some reflect on the way nearly all of us experimented with the Fill Tool:

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Others are using Paint to uh… dig its own grave:

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Others show us some of the amazing things that have been achieved in the app:

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And others went full meme:

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And this glorious man gave us a poem:

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I can’t speak for everyone at WDD, but I’ll say this for myself: I’m going to miss that silly bit of software. Sure, it’s being replaced by something that’s probably better, but even so, this was a part of my life. It was a gateway to the worlds of graphic design and digital art for many people. I suspect that even now, some creators will decide to install it from the Windows store for as long as they can manage.

For my part, I’m going to let it go, though I will remember it fondly. Goodnight, MS Paint. Go on, and live happily in the Great Windows XP Install in the Sky.

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