Johannesburg – Dearly beloved, we once again gather to mourn the loss of our dear friend and only form of computer entertainment in the 1980s – software Microsoft Paint, aka Paintbrush, at the age of 32.
We are gathered here in the presence early Windows users and image editing noobs.
For many computer users in the 1990s and millennials, Paint became a first love. It certainly led a colourful life.
When there was no internet, no solitaire and games for Windows, Paint was there.
Lest we forget, there was a variety of spectrum of colours to choose from and that illustrious and highly inaccurate pencil that could never draw a straight line. We will always reminisce about the straight line that was always skewed, and our circles that were never round.
Paint lived a full life, born with the first-ever version of Windows in November 1985.
Because of Paint’s popularity, it suffered numerous attempts on its life. First Adobe Photoshop, in the early 1990s, threatened its existence. But somehow Paint powered through this crisis. Other programmes followed, but somehow Paint held on.
Renowned for its simplicity, Paint gave us JPEG, GIF, Bitmaps and later PNGs, even though we may not have known what they were back then or what they do for us today.
Through its battle to stay relevant, it was always there in a time of need. It would always answer to late night calls of “Hey, I need to resize this image or draw a gap in my dad’s teeth in this family photo”.
Paint always said “Aye”.
Paint was steadfast, reliable and consumed almost no RAM. It was a favourite of early graphic designers, and helped pave the way for themto pursue careers as graphic designers, even if they moved on to the sexier Photoshoot utility.
But ultimately, Paint’s creator had the last say. What the Good Microsoft giveth, the Good Microsoft taketh away. The company behind the Windows operating system this week announced the stalwart’s demise with the next update set to hit PCs. In the end, its age and simplicity could not be overcome in a world looking for the next best thing.
Graphic design will never be the same again.