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Has come preloaded with a program. It’s been a component of Windows. It lets you draw (usually rickety) lines of different thicknesses and colours with your mouse, so that you may do stick figures and messages and apologetic hearts which you may send to your girlfriend when you have annoyed her. It could be drawn by children and practise controlling a mouse. And any kids who grew up in the nineties did use it. It was a program.

Paint was also helpful for creating CD covers or advertising posters: you may put text over it and You imported a photo. It was a program that is primitive.

I say because it risks being laid off as a Windows workhorse was. In a recent announcement, Microsoft has recorded applications slated for “elimination” or “deprecation” in the next iteration of Windows. Paint is “deprecated,” meaning it’s no longer “in active development” and may well be trimmed in the bundle. (A few other programs you may enjoy have also been fired: Outlook Express, as an instance, has been removed for being “non-functional legacy code,” which is how I feel some days.)

You may download a free application that’s almost the exact same, called Paint.NET — indeed some folks say it’s far better than Microsoft’s Paint — but you won’t because you’ll never consider Paint again. Windows 10 has a drawing program named Paint 3D, which lets you draw on objects and have them shaded, and then placed and rotated as you desire. You can make if you’re good at it. It provides numerous stock people and animals to you to use. Your drawing skills are upgraded for you.

This means all children’s drawing skills changed to imitate a entertainment paradigm — and have been upgraded, too.

Windows apps have an impact on how we perceive on what we imagine drawing to be, drawing itself. Then the landscape is altered — and that app makes finger-painty drawings — when millions of computers around the world have the free drawing app. The next generation will perceive drawing to be a reproduction of a different kind of children’s illustration — that of the big-budget computer-animated movie (think Despicable Me). Unlike the images generated by Paint — which could be duplicated with markers — the sort of shading is hard for a child to accomplish with tools. So us has moved away from a idea of drawing achievable. It moves us close to a conception of drawing as something that’s done in the realm.

Purely by coincidence, a video game for phones and computers turns drawing. Passpartout: The Starving Artist lets you draw clumsy pictures with your mouse and then sell them to virtual passersby. The more you sell, the more you can build your career and the tools for more pretty pictures you may acquire. It combines creativity with a genuine career’s pressures. This sounds insanely stressful to me (I mean, surely most folks turn to video games as an escape from having to have a career?) But reviewers say in producing the pictures using this easy interface, the pleasure is. It doesn’t have the instant alternative. I’m guessing the majority of these reviewers were children in the 1990s — they are currently experiencing Paint’s pleasure.

The tech media have been reporting on the demise of Paint. They can’t say they feel its loss is a big deal — is it nostalgia? — but they know it is significant, symbolic of something. What they’re feeling is the realization that a software company that is hegemonic has the capability to define the aesthetics of a generation, and to change, with one advertising decision, the appearance of graphics around the world.

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