Preview build of the new Microsoft Paint leaks to the internet

Microsoft Paint has long been a staple of the Windows operating system, but it’s difficult to recommend the software over other free image editing packages that have sprung up in recent years. Now, Paint is being overhauled to better serve today’s users — and over the weekend, a preview build was leaked to the internet.

The leaked build of the Universal Windows Platform version of Paint was originally distributed to testers in May 2016, according to a report from The Verge. In addition to a sleek new interface, the new iteration of the program features robust support for touch interfaces.

Paint has always been designed to be accessible to as broad a swath of users as possible, and that intention seems to be preserved in the new version. It’s apparently very easy to perform actions like drawing, cropping, and inserting text, whether you’re using a mouse, a pen, or your finger to do the job.

There’s also an intriguing focus on integrating 3D models into 2D images. Users can insert 3D models from a selection of basic shapes, and a library that’s set to be expanded by the community, before customizing these objects with brushes that respond realistically to their curves and bumps.

Still, it seems unlikely that the new Paint will be able to compete with professional-grade software like Adobe’s Photoshop. The program doesn’t feature support for layers — although it’s possible that this functionality was added in after the leaked build was released for testing.

It seems likely that we’ll hear more about Microsoft’s Paint refresh at the Surface event scheduled for later this month. It’s expected that the company will discuss new models of the Surface and the Surface Book, as well as a new all-in-one addition to the line, and this would be an ideal piece of software to show off these systems.

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