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Friday, April 12, 2024

Microsoft shares ‘nostalgic’ backgrounds including the most nostalgic software, Paint

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In a recent blog post, Microsoft encouraged everyone to “get nostalgic” with new Microsoft Teams backgrounds. The backgrounds feature highlights from Windows’ legacy such as the ‘splainy paperclip Clippy, Microsoft Solitaire, and that one grassy field that was everyone’s wallpaper in the early noughties.

Credit where it’s due—they’re nice looking backgrounds, certainly desktop wallpaper material if you don’t like to have arty video call backgrounds. My sticking point is with part of the accompanying blurb for the Paint-inspired background: “A product of the 1980s, Paint was first introduced in November 1985 as part of the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0. And while the original Paint is still loved by many artists in the making, its successor Paint 3D was eventually released in 2017.”

Paint 3D was widely hated on release, and I object to the implication that Paint 3D is Paint’s successor in anything other than chronology. Microsoft suggested removing original Paint in 2017 and it was so unpopular a decision that they floated it back to the Windows Store after an online petition, and then right back to a built-in OS program—where it belongs, in my opinion. 

These backgrounds are a nice appeal to nostalgia, much like Paint itself, with its primary functions of ‘crop’, ‘scribble’ and ‘draw big red arrow’—so stop trying to make Paint 3D happen. It isn’t going to happen.

You can find the backgrounds at Microsoft’s blog, and potentially discover that you, too, have a burningly passionate opinion about some part of Windows history. Perhaps about Microsoft Solitaire? It was built-in to the OS for over twenty years, after which point they brought it back with ads you have to subscribe to to remove.

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