I can't prove this, but 99% of the time, when people say "I want an alternative to MS Paint," they're thinking "I want something that is lightweight, starts up in a few seconds, and does basic editing," not "I want layers and filters and alpha and feature and feature and feature." Saying that GIMP is an alternative to Paint is like saying that OpenOffice Writer is an alternative to Notepad. Sure, they both do generally the same function, but the target use is completely different.
So when I read a post asked by someone who wants just a simple alternative to Paint and immediately gets GIMP as a response (sometimes as the only response), I want to punch the responder continually in the neck, because the original poster will probably be completely freaked out by GIMP, since they were expecting MS Paint. No one asking for an alternative to Paint is going to try GIMP and think "This is exactly what I'm looking for."
I offer two more tests you can try for yourself:
- Right click your MSPAINT.EXE in system32 and click Properties, then note the size. Then do the same to the GIMP folder in Program Files and compare. One happens to be about 100 times bigger than the other.
- Start MS Paint and count roughly how long it takes for it to start. Then start GIMP and do the same. For me, MS Paint was up before GIMP's splash appeared.
PS - Yes, I did discover GIMP by searching for an alternative to MS Paint, and I'm pretty sure it was recommended to me as one. But I also don't need to tell you how freaked out I was with GIMP for the longest time and how much I avoided it for as long as I possibly could since it was (a) not really an MS Paint alternative and (b) not user friendly. I believe my point still stands.