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RIP MS Paint (1985–2017)

A eulogy from BuzzFeed's designers for soon-to-be-dead MS Paint.

Posted on July 24, 2017, at 5:07 p.m. ET

Bad news for fans of crudely drawn Sonic fan art: MS Paint, the software that came preinstalled on Windows computers and gave you a way to waste time in the school library, won't be around much longer.

As part of the Windows 10 update, Microsoft will stop updating Paint. It’s not officially DEAD yet, but it is on the list of programs that will be “deprecated.” This means that it's not in active development, and could be removed in future updates. For now, you can still use it, and it's not going to be automatically removed from your machine or anything.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE

Microsoft wrote on its blog today that reports of Paint's death had been greatly exaggerated. While it IS being "deprecated" as BuzzFeed reported, they gave more details on what this actually means. Paint will be available Windows Store as a free standalone app, and will be updated. However, it won't be preloaded into new computers or part of Windows 10. Paint 3D, a newer better version, will be included in Windows 10.


For those of us who grew up using it, MS Paint was a way to make shitty drawings; something we’d fool around with back in the mid-1990s but haven’t thought about much lately. But for professional designers, MS Paint was often the first tool they used to do the work that eventually became their passion and career. We asked BuzzFeed’s designers — people from across our editorial, technical, advertising, and design teams — to tell us what they remember about MS Paint.


"What stands out in my mind thinking back to my childhood playing in MS Paint: This was the first time I remember I was allowed to make a complete mess any time I wanted. I take this for granted now when I turn on my computer to draw and paint. But as a kid then, it was a huge deal and there was no comparable experience. Spray paint can, paint can, paint brush. Instant cleanup. Complete freedom!" —Nathan Pyle, writer/illustrator


"When I was 11 years old, I used Paint to design costumes for my pet bird, Ace Ventura, Pet Parakeet, who was unable to wear these costumes in real life, as he was a bird. This work later became the content for my first website, Ace's Cyber Perch. Today, 17 years later and working as a digital product designer, I attribute my success to the skills I learned in those early days, armed with none other than MS Paint. Please enjoy these attached remnants of the past. I hope they finally get the spotlight they deserve. Rest In Peace, MS Paint, you will be missed." —Lindsey Maratta, product designer



"What that I remember most is this: open blank paint doc. Scribble a line all over the page, so the line overlaps with itself. Use the paint bucket tool to FILL THAT BABY IN until there's not a blank space on the page. I mean, what is 'white space' anyway? It was probably the first thing I ever 'designed.' (I'm a graphic designer now.)" —Angie Foster, designer on brand team


"MS and I grew up together. Once I got out of high school and starting hanging out with Photoshop, we drifted apart, but sometimes when I went home to visit my parents we would catch up. Things would usually end in an argument, with one of us yelling something like, 'But, like, how do you add a layer?' and storming out frustrated. I like to think of the happier times though. I learned a lot from MS, and I have to wonder, would I be a completely different man if I had spent all that time playing SkiFree instead?" —Ryan Pattie, designer


"I used to make AIM Buddy Icons with MS Paint. I was the best at it in my junior high, which was pretty cool for my medium-level of popularity." —Caylee Betts, product design manager


"Ah, MS Paint. From the first time I watched a friend paint bucket what looked like a crochet grid to zoom out and see a perfectly formed curve, I knew you were too pure for this world. Rest in peace, sweet prince." —Dennis Huynh, design director

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    Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture and is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

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