Heads up: Paint.NET will require XP SP3 / Vista SP1 later this year

I’ve blogged about system requirements before. So far I’ve been content to leave the minimum version of Windows set to XP SP2, based both on user feedback and lack of necessity. It has come at the cost of adding about 2MB to the download package, but the work had already been completed and it was useful.

However, that will have to change soon. Later this year, Paint.NET will move to .NET 4.0. I am planning to do this before the increasingly mythic release of Paint.NET v4.0, and shortly after the public release of .NET 4.0 (whenever that ends up being). If you check out the download page for Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Beta 2, you will see that it requires XP SP3 or Vista SP1.

For many users this won’t be an issue. The updates are free*, and if you’re lucky then they’ll be automatically applied on some nice lazy weekend when you’re out sleeping, drinking, or fishing. Maybe even all three! Although if you haven’t updated yet, then please do so soon.

Many computers’ updates, especially those within the walls of corporate environments or educational institutions, are more conservatively applied (and with good reason). For those administrators in charge of such things, consider this blog post as my request to make sure all your XP boxes are at SP3, and that all your Vista boxes are at SP1 or SP2. There will then be one less obstacle toward getting .NET 4.0 installed, and thus one step closer toward the Paint.NET update which will require it.

While the minimum for Vista users will be SP1, I still recommend SP2 of course. That will help ensure you have the latest updates and security fixes as well as allowing you to install the Platform Update which includes DirectWrite, something that Paint.NET makes good use of if available.

For your convenience, here are download links for the service packs:

You can also just open up Windows Update and have it download and install things until it’s done.

* free in the sense that Microsoft does not charge for them.


17 thoughts on “Heads up: Paint.NET will require XP SP3 / Vista SP1 later this year

  1. Simon Brown says:

    Sorry if you’re not prepared to answer a question that doesn’t have a practical reason, but will that be a 3.5.x release or a more significant one?

  2. Nathaniel says:

    If there is anyone that can’t/won’t upgrade, maybe it’d make sense to provide unsupported downloads of older versions? (As I’m on Win7, I don’t need to worry, but I thought I’d offer the suggestion)

  3. Marwin says:

    I fully support your decision. You’re one of the few developers who had the courage to fight conservatism. If user wants to use the most feature advanced software, he should use the most advanced software OS. Yes, it’s cruel to the conservative minority of users, but as a .Net developer I fully understand the benefits that the rest users will get.
    Many… too many users don’t understand the need to update their OS, even if they are not able to see the benefits, this will positively impact on compatibility and functionality of the software (other then OS) that they want keeping up to date.

  4. colintso says:

    I totally agree with your statement. Missing updates for OSes means loss of reliability on your computer. Mr friend was missing 172 updates on his XP and I had to update it for him, which took 3 hours to complete. Users should not wait until an update is needed before updating.

  5. Jim L says:

    As this is primarily a labor of love, I think you are completely justified in moving to the latest/greatest/funnest. Anyone whiners should have their lower lip pulled over their head.

  6. John Dangerbooks says:

    Why .NET Framework 4? What makes .NET Framework 4 criticial for your application?

  7. Rick Brewster says:

    Mitch, XP x64 doesn’t have the same SP schedule as XP x86. It’s actually just a build of Server 2003 x64, which is up to SP2. .NET 4 should work fine on it.

  8. Yaraslau says:

    Am I right, that all users of Paint.NET ver.4.0 and up must use Windows XP SP3 and up?

    I will give a try to ReactOS in 2010, but will Paint.NET work in non-Windows XP3 environment?

    P.S. ReactOS will have WinXP/Win2003 compatibility…

  9. Rick Brewster says:

    Yaraslau, How would I know? I’ve never used ReactOS, and will not be doing any testing there. If it works, neat. If not, then I am not concerned.

  10. Yaraslau says:

    Rick, thanks for your answer. Suppose, Paint.NET will work without problem. Good luck and happy coding!

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