Windows 10 Fall Creators Update moves MS Paint to Windows Store

Never fear, MS Paint is here to stay -- for good

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Microsoft’s upcoming Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 will signal the end of life for a number of traditional tools, including Outlook Express, Reader App, and Reading List. While there was some initial concern that it may have been on the road to killing off the classic MS Paint tool, too, Microsoft has now confirmed that that will not be the case.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is designed to further integrate Microsoft’s various platforms under one roof, and add improved support for augmented and mixed reality applications. Microsoft is also taking the opportunity to trim some of its legacy fat, by bringing together certain features in new software and ending the life of those that are no longer needed.

Including the venerable MS Paint?

In the case of the Reader app and Reading List, their functionality will be bundled into Microsoft Edge. Outlook Express is being killed off entirely, as part of what Microsoft calls a removal of “non-functional legacy code.”

Other features getting the ax include screen-saver functionality in Windows themes, though that can still be adjusted in the control panel. Syskey.exe is being removed to improve security and Microsoft is also ditching the 3D Builder app as a default installation. It recommends instead that users try Print 3D or Paint 3D.

It’s those tools that the software giant is trying to edge people toward, even stating in a Monday night follow-up post on MS Paint’s future that they contain much the same features as the base MS Paint application. The company also confirmed that the venerable Paint application would remain free for everyone as part of the Windows Store, even if it will no longer receive any major updates.

“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,” wrote Microsoft General Manager Megan Saunders.

The initial consternation surrounding the future of MS Paint was derived from Microsoft’s listing it as “deprecated” in the upcoming Fall Creators Update. That meant it would not have any ongoing development and could, alongside a number of other listed features, potentially be axed in the future. Never fear though, that’s not going to happen. It will just be available through the Windows store instead.

Some tools do have a shaky future though thanks to their deprecated status. The “Sync Your Settings” cloud system and System Image Backup Solution are both set to be deprecated, too, with Microsoft recommending that users use a full-disk backup service. Powershell 2.0 is set to be deprecated, and Microsoft suggests users migrate to PowerShell 5.0+ instead.

Although this may seem like a list of harsh culls from the software giant, ultimately Microsoft is looking to bundle more services into the core Windows 10 experience. It’s using the current process to encourage more people to upgrade to the contemporary operating system, which already has hundreds of millions of users, but Microsoft wants that number to grow far higher in the years to come.

Update: Microsoft has now announced that Paint will not be killed off.