4.0.22 and Windows 7 “Platform Update”

Edit: This is now in effect for version 4.1. There was no 4.0.22 release — it was renamed to 4.1.

I wanted to give a heads up that the next update for Paint.NET, version 4.0.22, will require that Windows 7 users have something called the “Platform Update” installed. Later versions of Windows, meaning 8.1 and 10, do not need this because they already have what it includes.

If you’re using Windows 7 then you probably already have this installed and I wouldn’t worry about it; Windows Update should have taken care of that a long, long time ago. KB2670838, as it’s called in some circles, is over 5 years old at this point Smile This will be more relevant to folks who are setting up new installations of Windows 7, and is especially important for sequencing of auto-install or deployment scripts, because the Paint.NET installer will not handle the installation of this dependency.

As usual, whenever I add a dependency on a newer OS or .NET or anything, I get people pulling their hair out and asking me “why?!” (okay maybe I’m exaggerating)

In this case, the Platform Update includes significantly updated versions of Direct2D, Direct3D, DirectWrite, Windows Imaging Component (WIC), Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP), and Windows Animation Manager. Paint.NET uses all of these, and especially the Direct2D v1.1 update brings a lot of new features that will be very beneficial.

One of the projects I’m working on is to use the GPU much more aggressively in Paint.NET. Right now the GPU is mostly just used to blit the canvas and draw decorations on top of it. I’d like to go further, starting with the use of Direct2D v1.1’s effect system for, well, effects.

I’ve got a prototype up and running that surfaces a few of Direct2D’s built-in effects as Paint.NET effects and the performance is very promising, even when using WARP (software rendering). It also appears to automatically work with SLI, although I still need to do some benchmarking to confirm any actual performance increase.

If this works out well then you can expect more use of the GPU throughout Paint.NET as updates trickle out over time.

If you don’t want to go through Windows Update, or if you’re preparing auto-install or deployment stuff, then here’s where to download it:

More information about the Platform Update for Windows 7 can be found here:

P.S. I just realized it’s April 1st … this it not an April fool’s joke Smile