Windows bundled apps: Can I get an update please?



Earlier today, I stumbled upon a hilarious send-up of MS Paint on YouTube. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that the video imagines what the world would be like if Paint was a high-end application for graphics professionals. While humorous, the video did get me thinking about Paint a bit–namely the fact that the application has remained essentially unchanged since it’s introduction in Windows 1.0. Now, I’m not saying that I expect Microsoft to bundle a Photoshop-quality application in with Windows or anything–but can’t we get something a little bit more advanced than Paint? I mean, you can’t even resize an image without it getting horribly pixelated, for crying out loud! And in this day and age, there are relatively few folks around who aren’t working with digital images in some capacity.

For me, the inadequate nature of Windows’ bundled-in utilities was further underlined by Apple’s announcement of iLife ’08 this week. This year’s models of iPhoto and iMovie look great and as usual, they’re going to ship for free with every new Mac. Now, Apple has long made a name for itself as a company that sells all-in-one products while Microsoft has never claimed to offer much more than an operating system–I understand that much. But would it kill the folks in Redmond to update simple utilities like Paint, at least to the point where they’re more than just a novelty?

I know what a lot of you are thinking right now: there’s no shortage of free, open-source graphics apps on the Internet, why not download one of those instead? That’s certainly a good point and for the average geek, that’s always going to be the most cost-effective solution. But what about the average consumer? Folks are paying a lot for a copy of Windows these days–don’t you think they deserve a few real apps along with their purchase? Write in and let me know what you think, perhaps we’ll compile a list of built-in apps that we’d like to see in future versions of Windows. –Mehan

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