MICROSOFT HAS moved to calm the panic created yesterday after it quietly announced that its stalwart bundleware Paint was to be depreciated and removed in the next big Windows 10 update.
Howls of protest and mourning, as well as some fairly dubious fan art, filled social media after a working document showed that future editions of Windows would supercede Paint, which had been standard for 32 years, with the new Paint 3D which fell down in the last shower.
In a blog post, Microsoft responded with the news fans had prayed for: "Today, we've seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there's anything we learned, it's that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It's been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app."
It went on to give the news that up and down the land, the pixelated candle-lit vigils had hoped for. Paint will survive.
However, instead of being bundled in with Windows, it will become a free download from the Windows Store (and presumably, therefore a Windows Universal Platform app instead of an x32 app, for what it's worth).
Megan Saunders, General Manager of the 3D for Everyone Initiative at Windows Experiences (this is a real job title), was keen to point out all the things that Paint 3D can do in addition to its older sibling, but after the outpouring of grief, the reprieve of Paint is a small bone to be thrown.
If indeed, thrown it was. After all, what the press (and yes, that includes your ever on-the-ball INQ) picked up on was a document on the Microsoft website that didn't provide explanation or context. Inferences were made. Assumptions if you will.
The question is - was Paint given a reprieve? Was it always meant to go to the Windows Store? Or did Microsoft see a ruddy great chance at a publicity stunt and dive on it. Either "they're upset about Paint, let's turn this to our advantage" or "what can we threaten and then back down from to garner good publicity?". Trust not the hand of Nadella, innit. µ
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