Paint repackaged

Get a snazzier version of Paint--and the Bing toolbar--with this program.

A funny thing happened as we were evaluating PaintRibbon. We were admiring its interface, comparing it favorably to Microsoft Paint, when Firefox suddenly launched itself and started downloading the Bing toolbar. This was quickly followed by an Internet Explorer dialog box asking us if we wanted to change our default search engine to Bing. Where had this come from? Had we agreed to this? We closed and deleted PaintRibbon, relaunched it, and paid attention this time to the license agreement that we had absently-mindedly agreed to before. Sure enough, we had agreed to the Bing toolbar, as well as a lengthy list of conditions provided by Microsoft about how they will collect and use our data. For us, this was a deal breaker. But if you're not as anti-Bing as we are, we suppose you could do worse than PaintRibbon.

As far as we can tell, PaintRibbon doesn't offer any features that Microsoft Paint doesn't have. The main difference is that PaintRibbon comes with a sleek, Office 2007-style interface. It is nicer to look at--and perhaps slightly easier to navigate--than Paint is, but that's about it. In fact, on one important measure, it compares poorly to the stalwart graphics program; while Paint lets users save files in eight different formats, including the ubiquitous JPEG, GIF, and BMP, PaintRibbon only supports PIC files. Who uses PIC files? The program has no Help file, and as far as we can tell, it's really just a repackaging of Paint for the purpose of making money via Bing. There's nothing functionally wrong with it, but we can't say we're impressed with it at all.

PaintRibbon comes as a ZIP file is and accessible after extraction with no need for installation. We recommend this program with reservations.

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