About the Paint.COM name

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About the Paint.COM name

Published by on March 19th 2011.

Little more than 2 years ago, I was searching for a good name for my freeware painting program and happened to choose Paint.COM.

A bit of history

You would be right if you guessed that the name was inspired by the name of the Paint.net image editor. It made a lot of sense. The main concepts of both Paint.net and Paint.COM were similar - provide users with a free, simple to use, yet relatively powerful image editing tool. I aimed a bit higher on the "powerful" side with layer styles, Photoshop filter compatibility and other more or less important features. Paint.net remained a bit easier to use.

Choosing the Paint.COM name actually followed the Paint.net example. When Microsoft released the .net Framework (their variant of Java), they named the next version of their software development environment Visual Studio.net and there was a lot of hype about the .net name, even rumors about it appearing in other Microsoft products. But in the end, it did not and it was removed from the Visual Studio name in 2005. I presume Paint.net was named during that time, because it was built using the new .net technology. Paint.COM was built using an even older COM technology.

There was also another interesting parallel. The top-level domain names. Everyone knows there are .com and .net domains, .com being the default one and hence slightly more serious. That was what I needed.

I thought, it was a well chosen name that would help people perceive the software intuitively as a free image editor with solid features and simple user interface - an intermediate step between Paint.net and the GIMP. I also thought it was a funny name with depth.

And maybe it worked as I expected. Paint.COM immediately gained some followers. But there were also people that were upset by the name. Some people thought Paint.COM was a clone of Paint.net, other people were simply angry, because there was a serious competitor named similarly as their favorite image editor. There were even those that refused to try it due to its name.

What is the situation now? Some 2 years after the initial release? I am not sure. Number of users is raising, but the Paint.COM name may actually preventing faster growth. Who knows? Maybe a unique name with no relations to other image editors would work better.

Has the time come to choose another name?

What do you think? Should I keep the Paint.COM name or try looking for something else?

Recent comments

user icon sixλxis forum moderator on March 20th 2011

Paint.COM is fine with me, although if you're losing users over the name, of all things, i think it might be a good idea to change it.

I was thinking maybe just RealWorld Paint to keep it simple. Dropping the .COM might reduce confusion between Paint.net and Paint.COM.

If you want to make it not sound like MS Paint, then maybe RealWorld Paint Pro will help say this is a professional program?

My two cents.

user icon absterninja registered user on March 28th 2011

Good idea.

user icon Anonymous
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