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When did pbrush.exe become mspaint.exe?

What was it in Win98? Win95? Windows 3.1? (no doubt Win 3.1 it was pbrush.exe...)

I doubt I'm imagining things, it was pbrush.exe at one time. I'd like to know when the transition happened.

Also, when did the whole application get renamed from paintbrush to mspaint? Did the executable change with it at the same time?

ADDED Jul 5 '11:

MaxMackie mentioned this which is an interesting page and answers it.

From some newsgroup posts that I came across while researching this issue, apparently on Windows 9x series machines (e.g. Windows 98), a pbrush.exe file actually was included in the system32 directory that was just a stub which executed mspaint.exe. (In even older Windows versions, pbrush.exe was the 16-bit version of the Paint program; the 32-bit version, mspaint.exe, was apparently introduced with Windows 95.)

For the 32-bit Windows NT series, an engineer at Microsoft must have decided to switch the pbrush command from working via the actual pbrush.exe stub file to taking advantage of the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths registry key.

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closed as not constructive by Simon Sheehan, 8088, Nifle, Mokubai, studiohack Nov 6 '11 at 3:28

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

what could I do to re-open this? it was useful to me. – n611x007 Nov 18 '13 at 9:22
@naxa don't know, but fortunately I don't think questions necessarily lose much value from being "closed". It's still there(not deleted thankfully) and if there's anything to add to the question or to an answer, then you could add a comment.. the fact that new answers can't be posted won't kill it. – barlop Nov 18 '13 at 18:20
won't closed questions be eventually deleted? from time to time I couldn't find bookmarked closed questions, says 404... stackprinter being half-way dedicated to saveing closed SO pages... are you sure this will stay, and how do you know? – n611x007 Nov 18 '13 at 23:13
@naxa That is a good point, I hadn't thought of that. I just searching it on wasn't there initially but it let me add it to the wayback machine,… Other than that, one could store it locally -one reason why I sometimes like to have a link in there literally is so I or anyone can copy/paste it easily. Often if i'm looking at a program like wget, and I see a question with something useful, or anything online.. I might copy/paste parts into a wget.txt file. – barlop Nov 19 '13 at 10:20
@naxa So, while it may be worth saving closed questions you find useful..(though that can be an issue as there's graphics, you may get a long filename/folder name if not careful with saving.. and it may be multi page like those great ones that were closed and deleted).It may be worth having files on programs and perhaps, files on tasks. There are many forums where I find useful info, and I will and have outlived lots of them but my own collection of notes lives with me, can be on an online backup, and has been more reliable than any forum. – barlop Nov 19 '13 at 10:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The first version of Paint was introduced with the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0. It was a licensed version of ZSoft Corporation's PC Paintbrush. Paint was later renamed to Paintbrush in Windows 3.0, but the name was changed back to Paint in Windows 95 and later. This version only supported the MSP and BMP file formats. The former is no longer supported by newer versions of Paint, along with PCX and RLE. Older versions cannot open or edit PNG files, and can only open GIF, JPEG, and TIFF files with a graphics filter for the specific file type.

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what about the executable name. what was it, in the different windows versions? – barlop Jul 5 '11 at 14:48
I'm pretty sure it was still pbrush.exe. I know that in XP pbrush.exe was still around and it was mapped to mspaint.exe – n0pe Jul 5 '11 at 14:51
your guess is slightly incorrect. i'm on win xp sp3 right now, pbrush.exe is not in xp, but brings up mspaint. but doing pbrush from the command prompt does not bring it up. on a related note there is a write.exe that brings up wordpad. What was the situation with paintbrush in win98 and 95? – barlop Jul 5 '11 at 15:06
Check this blog post out about the pbrush.exe phantom executable.…. It also explains (in the last paragraph) the older history of the application. – n0pe Jul 5 '11 at 15:08
Glad that blog post was helpful. :-) – Jon Schneider Aug 22 '13 at 16:16

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