Microsoft unleashed Build 17063 into the Windows Insider program’s Fast Ring earlier this week, and participants are now reporting the fate of the company’s “classic” Paint program. It became a hidden feature with the recent release of Fall Creators Update, accessible only through the Cortana search function. With Build 17063, Paint still remains, but warns that it will eventually pack its bags and head to the Microsoft Store.
As of Build 17063, Paint will display a “Product alert” icon next to a new “Edit with Paint 3D” tool button on the ribbon. Click on the alert icon, and Paint will produce this pop-up message: “This version of Paint will soon be replaced with Paint 3D. Classic Paint will then become available in the Store.”
Microsoft Paint — now apparently called Classic Paint — is an original member of the Windows built-in tool portfolio. Technically, it’s a traditional Win32 desktop program with its required components spread out in the Windows folder. Meanwhile, Paint 3D components are stuffed into a single package, making it more secure than its older sibling. Moreover, it can be used on any Windows 10 device whereas Paint can only run on machines with Intel and AMD-based processors.
But Paint 3D is also more advanced, bringing 3D creativity into the Paint fold, thus making the older version obsolete. Microsoft warned of Paint’s fate in July, throwing the program on its depreciated list. Paint’s functionality will reside in the new 3D-enhanced version while the program itself will be removed from the operating system, and served up as a “classic” app on the Microsoft Store.
As of Build 16299 released to the public, “classic” Paint still functions, but it will no longer receive new features and updates. Currently, Microsoft has not officially indicated when it plans to rip Paint out of Windows, but the next big feature update for Windows 10 is expected to take place in the spring of 2018. This is likely when the original Paint program exits the platform, and reappears as a Universal Windows Platform app on the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft’s first Creators Update for Windows 10 unleashed earlier this year focused on creating 3D content. That included overhauling the original Paint foundation with the ability to easily create 3D objects and scenes. With this new, separate “3D” version came an integrated online platform called Remix3D where you can upload your 3D objects and/or scenes to the community, or download content created by others. The Windows 10 update essentially enabled all customers to become 3D content “creators.”
Outside the 3D aspect, there’s a huge difference in presentation between the original Paint and the new Paint 3D app. That’s likely one of the reasons why Microsoft will never outright kill off the original Paint knowing full well that longtime customers simply may not want 3D and/or don’t want to learn a new tool.
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