Windows 8.1 Countdown: Opening a New Can of Fresh Paint
Microsoft gives the OS update a coat of Fresh Paint as the partners line up support and work to fill out the ecosystem.Windows 8.1 will launch worldwide on Oct. 18 (Oct. 17 in the U.S.), and in a final push ahead of its release, Microsoft and its partners are trumpeting what the OS update has in store for users. Proving that Windows isn't all business, Microsoft cracked open a can of Fresh Paint. Mimicking the tools that painters use to create art, the revamped Fresh Paint app will launch alongside Windows 8.1 and sooner for Windows Phone (Oct. 14). Fresh Paint is a modern, canvas-and-paint-themed successor of sorts to Microsoft Paint, which lives on as a separate application. The free software is touch-optimized and runs as a Windows App, formerly known as Metro. The new version builds on feedback that the company gleaned from a preview version that the company released in July. Describing the community's contributions as "tremendously exciting and helpful," in an Oct. 10 blog post, Ira Snyder, a general manager in Microsoft's Startup Business Group, said his team took the "feedback to heart" and has toiled "to deliver the highest quality, most realistic painting and drawing experience possible."
The result is a bevy of new painting tools that users can manipulate more intuitively, courtesy of a streamlined user interface. Additions include new filters, a graphite pencil set and a Bing-powered Inspire Me feature that pulls images for users to import. Watercolor rendering has been improved and stylus pressure tweaks have been implemented.