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Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Photoshop Killer' 212

Posted by Roblimo
from the Adobe-breathes-a-brief-sigh-of-relief dept.
daria42 writes "According to this article, Microsoft has paused development work on some parts of the pro graphics application it first released in beta back in June 2005. The problem? It appears the software giant doesn't see the application as a stand-alone product, but more of a companion piece to its Expression product line. Plus Vista needs to be released first."
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Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Photoshop Killer'

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  • by ExE122 (954104) * on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:41AM (#14906730) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure the real problem is that they're trying to integrate it with windows so that windows won't work if you delete it...

    *cough* *explorer* *cough*

    I bet in the end, its just gonna be a fancy version of paintbrush
    • Re:PaintbrushShop (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:47AM (#14906776) Homepage
      Hmm- what is funny is that MS has to fight the same kind of thing that keeps Windows entrenched. It is commonly argued that people stick with windows because it is what they know and what they are used to (I know I am overlooking the fact that it is included with almost every PC sold).
      Now MS is on the other end- I use Photoshop almost daily. I have to be honest- even if there was a program twice as good (however you measure twice as good) I would be hard pressed to give up a program I have used for a decade (Photoshop) and am used to. Even when I use Fireworks, I have some trouble, because the commands are different/located in different places...
      • Re:PaintbrushShop (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Remember DR DOS, Netscape? I expect that photshop will stop working with Windows pretty soon.
        • Thats an interesting point, even if it was sarcastic. I was an Apple guy until you could get Photoshop for Windows. ( I don't want to get into why, despite owning Apples since I was 10, I switched to PC- But it had a lot to do with PC games)
          It used to be that you pretty much had to have an Apple to do high end graphics. Now I know a ton of graphic designers who use Windows machines. That was unheard of when I was younger.
          • Masochism (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            "Now I know a ton of graphic designers who use Windows machines. That was unheard of when I was younger."

            What do they do? Surely not prepress. You can get Photoshop for the PC, but trying to ensure colour accuracy on a PC is a nasty, nasty process. It costs far more in time than you save on hardware, and even with the best solutions available you won't have consistent colour across all apps.

            Sounds like you know a lot of _web_ designers.
            • Re:Masochism (Score:3, Informative)

              by Kierthos (225954)
              No kidding. I work at a FedExKinko's, and we flat out tell customers that we can't color match, because what you see on the screen is not always going to look the same on the prints. Especially in the case of our oversize color printer, where MS's default blue (on the screen) comes out as purple on the paper. Fortunately, it's only on the color oversize printer, which is made by HP, which does this. The XEROX based color copiers we have print it as blue. Not the exact same shade of blue, of course, but it's
              • Yes, you are correct. The Windows users are mostly web designers.
                I have heard horror stories from print shops who get word docs that people want on the 4 color press....
            • The only print shops I know only use windows when customers give them a Publisher file to print.
              Those customers don't understand what colormatching is yet complain when it is off in the slightest bit.
            • Re:Masochism (Score:2, Interesting)

              Same here. And I'm a guy who bucked the trend and did high-end CMYK color on Windows for 7 years before largely giving up on it (partner still uses Win2K, although she dual-boots Linux and is learning it now).

              One of the big problems under Windows is the lack of a commonly-agreed-upon color management subsystem that all vendors utilize, like Apple has in Kodak's ColorSync (and Linux has in lcms). On Windows, you've got Microsoft's color system, which everybody happily ignores, then Adobe's system, along wi

            • No offense, but if you're relying on the monitor to tell you anything, you're not very good at prepress. Years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, we actally looked at CMYK values to do prepress work. You can even do prepress on a black and white monitor (and possibly get better results since you won't be swayed by bright pretty onscreen colors).

              Yes, Windows sucks for color management, and I use a Mac for my imaging work partly for that reason, but I spent years and years doing corporate work in Windows a
          • Adobe's Price (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel AT bcgreen DOT com> on Monday March 13, 2006 @11:02AM (#14907409) Homepage Journal
            Perhaps this was the price for Adobe not developing a Linux version of Photoshop.

            You stop slicing my back, I'll scratch yours.

      • Re:PaintbrushShop (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Uber Banker (655221)
        I have to be honest- even if there was a program twice as good (however you measure twice as good) I would be hard pressed to give up a program I have used for a decade (Photoshop) and am used to.

        Exactly, and this was recently cited as one of the reasons users will not switch to Lunix or other OSes, because their favourite app had not been ported. IMHO its bad news that MS have paused work on this, because it reduces the chance of Adobe getting annoyed and porting Photoshop to Lunix.
        • Re:PaintbrushShop (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Dan Ost (415913)
          Has Adobe ever given an official position about porting to Linux?
          • Has Adobe ever given an official position about porting to Linux?
            No. Customers (especially high-end shops with a *nix production pipeline) have wanted it for a long time. The closest yet to an answer is an old Dvorak article [pcmag.com] in which he claims that the Adobe CEO holds a grudge against open source over GhostScript.
    • They should wrap the entire thing within the display device context. Then technically, no monitor would work without the program installed!

      It's a good thing I don't work for Microsoft.
    • by babbling (952366) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:37AM (#14907159)
      Microsoft can't make their applications the "default" on alternative operating systems. With Microsoft starting to expand their reach, companies like Adobe need to start thinking about what they're going to do when Microsoft has a "default" built-into-Windows program that does the same things that Adobe's programs do.

      This concerns all companies that are competing with Microsoft now, or will be in the future. They need to prevent Microsoft from making clones of their programs that will be the Windows "defaults".

      I bet IE7 doesn't have Google search as the start page. Can you guess which page might be the default?
      • IE7's start page, as has been for ages, is msn.com. There is a search bar ala Opera and Firefox on the top right which defaults to MSN search, but guess what? You can change it to Google (the option is builtin).
      • "Adobe need to start thinking about what they're going to do when Microsoft has a "default" built-into-Windows program"

        This won't be a built-in to Windows app though. Personally I don't think that Adobe has much to worry about. Think app doesn't even run on Macs.

        And as much as it would be nice to see, I don't see how selling Photoshop for Linux would help Adobe at all. Lets say that 5% of Windows users use Photoshop on a regular basis. Linux makes up like 2% of the desktop market. How much of a market does
        • I'm not talking about Adobe just supporting Linux by porting Photoshop to it. I'm talking about them actively pushing Linux onto the desktop. Doing so can only benefit any company that competes with Microsoft products.
          • AFAIK, Macromedia was working on a Linux flavour of their creative suite -> DW, FW, Flash, et all...

            Not certain where it stands now since the adobe merger...

            I know Fireworks != Photoshop, but it's pretty decent and is a good start. If sales are good, it'll probably demonstrated to Adobe whether they should port for linux or not...
      • Serious users will still use professional products.
        Look at te current crop of prosumer digital cameras, they have Adobe sRGB color profiles. It'll be a while if at all before MS comes out with anything considered professional.
    • If you spread yourself too thin, and still promise release dates, then you end up with multiple crappy products instead of one good one.

      M$ is known for that... because why buy Windows, when you can buy Windows + Office + Windows Server + SQL Server?

      -M
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:41AM (#14906737) Journal
    Ok, so I'm a little tired of headlines like these:
    Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Photoshop Killer'
    Sony's Revolution Killer? [slashdot.org]
    And the list goes on.

    So where does that leave the readers? I'm pretty sick and tired of hearing the word 'killer' used to describe a new product that aims to (hopefully) usurp the leading product in the market. That's it! Let's start using the word 'usurper' over and over to describe a product. It's hip, it generates hype, run with it!

    I'm fine with having my intelligence insulted when I read the comments. Hell, I'd even be fine with having low brow advertising on /.'s frontpage. What I'm not fine with is the editors being stupid enough to use clichés such as "killer" over and over and over again. Is this the 80's? Do we find one word and use it to describe everything? Did Roblimo just turn into Jeff Spicoli? Is anyone really naïve enough to think that an application will come along and "kill" Photoshop? For christ's sake, I use the Gimp 2.0 and I personally like it better than photoshop. On top of that, it's free. I alerted my band member to this application when he was making posters for a show. Now, he didn't pay for his version of photoshop but he still laughed when I suggested the Gimp 2.0 because he was too ignorant to try something new. I think you'll find this in a lot of graphical artists that if they have something that works (i.e. Macs, Photoshop, Intuos, etc.), they will stick with it until they die regardless of anything else that comes out. It's because that consumer base has a fatalistic attitude that different means worse.
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:44AM (#14906751) Homepage Journal
      Good post, thanks for the cliche-killer.
    • I think you should read the word "killer" as mild sarcasm.
    • Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Photoshop Killer'
      The Latest iPod Assassination Attempt
      Sony's Revolution Killer?
      Microsoft's Sparkle a Flash Killer?
      Microsoft to Launch "Skype Killer"
      StarOffice 8 May Be MS Office Killer

      All of those are euphamisms for Chuck Norris

      Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Chuck Norris'
      Chuck Norris iPod Assassination Attempt
      Chuck Norris: Sony's Revolution Killer?
      Microsoft's Chuck Norris a Flash Killer?
      Microsoft to Launch "Chuck Norris"
      Chuck Norris May Be MS Office Killer

      Clichés taste good with a

    • by zlogic (892404) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:59AM (#14906856)
      Well I've used GIMP for webmastering and I found that the following features don't exist in Gimp but exist in Photoshop:
      - layer styles, including shadows. In Photoshop, you can add a shadow and change it any way you like in something like 5 mouse clicks. The shadow will change if the object changes. Now, Gimp doesn't have any stuff for making shadows at all. So, to make a shadow, you have to duplicate the layer, fill the duplicate with black (or any other color), and blur it. And of course if you draw something on the original layer, you'll have to delete the shadow and draw a new one.
      - save for web
      - photoshop has more filters, and many can be actually useful
      - shadows/highlight (first appeared in Photoshop CS)
      If you are doing simple photo editing (brightness/contrast, color levels, resize), Gimp or Krita or Gwenview or even ACDSee will suit you well. If you have never used Photoshop, you'll also have no difficulties in using Gimp.
      However when you switch from Photoshop to Gimp you'll be lacking lots of these small-but-useful features that make a 30 second task in Photoshop something like 10 minutes Googling when using Gimp.
      • The shadow layer thing you described could easily be put into a tiny script. The problem is having it automatically run on changes, but at least the repetitiveness of it could be diminished if you just setup a simple script.
        • by podperson (592944) on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:14PM (#14909225) Homepage
          You are aware that in Photoshop you can change shadow parameters and have an interactive preview... That a layer style can consist of any number of layered components (shadows, highlights, overlays, etc.) which can be flipped on and off, have their opacity changed, etc. all with live previews. That you can copy the style from one layer to another. That you can encapsulate it in the UI where it will preview itself with an icon.

          Oh, and this is all scriptable in Photshop, both visually (via recording your actions) and programmatically (via JavaScript).

          Yeah, it might be a little less convenient to do this in aptly named GIMP.

          The GIMP is so laughably pathetic compared to Photoshop that only someone who hasn't actually done anything significant with either would compare the two.
      • Shadows in the Gimp are easy; just a little bit hard to find.

        It's in the Script-fu menu, along with some other goodies: the (simple) process is explained here: Drop shadows and borders in the Gimp [grcm.net].
    • No professional photographers I know (and I know a LOT) use GIMP because Linux doesn't have ubiquitous color management. Bzzt!
    • I agree with eldavojohn. That's why 'Killer' is enclosed by quotation marks even though they weren't in the headline as it was originally submitted.

      I also agree about GIMP 2.0. It's my primary graphics program. I work almost entirely on the WWW, so it does everything I need. :)
    • That post was killer, man.
    • You speak of your own intelligence being insulted and then you call others "ignorant" just because they don't want to use GIMP, which has a pretty horrible UI compared to Photoshop.

      Amazing.
      • Why the hatred towards the Gimp UI?
        Has anyone actually used it or do you just jump on the "Im a photoshop user and Gimp sucks"?

        I use Photoshop on my Mac and I use Gimp with Linux on a daily basis. Gimp's UI is no more retarded than Photoshops. Your opinions are evidence that you don't use it.

        Their current UI is much better than Gimp 1.0 but it's not horrible. I can fly through with just as much ease as Photoshop.
        • I have used the GIMP so I know firsthand the UI sucks. So no, my opinions are NOT evidence that I don't use it.

          Your opinions on the other hand are evident that fans of open source products have a higher tolerance for crappy interfaces just as long as the software remains "free".
          • Misrosoft Office has a horrible UI.

            True that most OSS apps have an unpolished UI but workflow should also factor in the UI detail.

            I can fly around Photoshop just as fast as GIMP.
            What is so horrible about GIMP that you are unable to use it?
    • What is is the was of what shall be. ~ Lao Tzu

      Are you sure that isn't Bill Clinton speaking?

  • News? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bk4u (682315) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:44AM (#14906752) Homepage
    This isn't news, let me know when Google makes one, then I'll be interested
    • Re:News? (Score:3, Funny)

      by simong (32944)
      But what would Google do with the knowledge that people photoshopped their girlfriends' head onto Angelina Jolie's body?
    • Re:News? (Score:5, Funny)

      by mod-e-rate (866633) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:26AM (#14907056)
      Hopefully it will be called Gooshop. And will definitely be supported by ads. The moment you do anything in "Gooshop", it will display "photosense" ads alongside the image being edited. And your photos and photo editing history will be saved by Google, so that next time you open Gooshop, Google will suggest the list of photos that you are "likely" to edit. And also suggest the editing actions you are likly to use. After using Gooshop for a while, it might just be able to satisfy all your photo-editing needs automatically. Just run Googhsop service and forget about it. Gooshop will edit, scale, mail, publish, print, frame photos for you. All automatically.

      -
      IMHO, sigs are just a wastage of precious bits and bytes.
  • 42 (Score:2, Funny)

    by webword (82711)
    The answer to the Ultimate Question of Life... ...also the number of times the Gimp will be mentioned here.
    • Who cares about Gimp? Paint.net [wsu.edu] is all that most non-professionals or uber-hobby folk would ever need. And it is free (as in non-alcoholic beer).
    • by teslar (706653)
      also the number of times the Gimp will be mentioned here.

      Oh come on, this is slashdot. Do you really think we'd stop at 42 when we can mention something that puts M$ to shame? Unless of course you are counting in Base 256 or something... ;)
  • by Rahga (13479) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:45AM (#14906760) Homepage Journal
    "Hey guys, lets get a lot of photos of people pretending to paint, then copy and paste and rotate them a lot so it looks like a kaleidoscope!"

    Genius, I tell you. Pure genius.

    I need one of those koosh Microsoft jobs... From where I'm standing, I'm reminded of the Ghostbusters line: "I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."
  • by phase_9 (909592) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:47AM (#14906777) Homepage
    if you haven't tried the beta already, simply press the Windows Key and R, then type 'mspaint.exe' without the quotes.
    classic.
  • by babbling (952366) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:47AM (#14906779)
    If Microsoft think that the scope of the application is too small to be considered a completely separate package, it's not going to be the "Photoshop Killer" that they want it to be.

    Will they get it right eventually? Probably. Microsoft can afford to throw money at things until they become good, and they have the added advantage of being able to make any product successful just by making it the "default". For this reason, they get a huge headstart over any competitors. Once competitors like Adobe and Google realise this, they might start thinking that switching customers over to Linux is a good idea. On Linux, no company controls the playground, so every application developing company is in there with an equal chance. There's no "default".
    • "If Microsoft think that the scope of the application is too small to be considered a completely separate package, it's not going to be the "Photoshop Killer" that they want it to be."

      It's not what about what 'can be done', but what would make them the most product. This approach is:

      1) Publish 4 as a bundle, which is just as cheap to mass produce as 1 standalone would be.
      2) Sell the bundle of 4 at the cost of 3.
      4) Profit! The customer thinks they are getting a good deal, though they probably won't regularly
  • Creative Suite is cross platform, it doesn't make sense for Microsoft to want to take down Adobe. iLife takes customers away from Windows, it makes more sense for them to be making Final Cut and iPhoto killers instead of trying to make another Illustrator & Dreamweaver. Most professional Graphic Designers are still going to use Illustrator instead of Expression anyways...
    • by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:15AM (#14906964) Homepage Journal
      I'm amazed. Only microsoft could buy a program that I used to run on my 120mhz Powermac in like 1997 that would have performance issues described by "Microsoft has recommended relatively high system specifications for Acrylic, saying consumers should preferably run the software on an Intel Pentium 4 machine, with Windows XP Service Pack 2, 512MB of memory..."

      Expression was neat at the time, but the stylus illustrator plugin improved on it and illustrator 9 or 10 blew it out of the water.

      Also, I really see this "Photoshop Killer" being Paint Shop Pro on steroids. I honestly can't see microsoft competing in the pro market at all. The only competing they do is when we get the do-it-yourselfers sending us M$ Publisher files or Powerpoint files that are to be used for output; which results in us needing to rebuild their files from the elements, if possible. or just do a complete re-create.

      all I can say is 'ugh.'
      • Paint Shop Pro on steroids? That is Photoshop. Have you used PSP lately? Paint Shop Pro has many of the capabilties Photoshop is so highly regarded for... Which is why I don't see Microsoft getting very far into this market. Photoshop rules and most people don't know that many, if not all, of the features they love Photoshop for are to be had with alternatives. Certainly, there are still features that only PS has, but those are far fewer than almost anyone out there believes.

        • PSP is fine for many things. If you're doing web stuff, it suffices, if not shines.

          however, PSP is NOT a production application. it doesn't do CMYK. it doesn't do color separation. beyond that, I'm not even sure if it supports highres files or any color mode other than RGB.
      • Also, I really see this "Photoshop Killer" being Paint Shop Pro on steroids. I honestly can't see microsoft competing in the pro market at all. The only competing they do is when we get the do-it-yourselfers sending us M$ Publisher files or Powerpoint files that are to be used for output; which results in us needing to rebuild their files from the elements, if possible. or just do a complete re-create.

        I think you're pretty much right that the market segment for this isn't true professionals. However, that
  • Seeing as how MS does not want there to be some great new application that slays their precious Windows/Office cash cow, the instant it - whatever it is - is announced, we will read

    Microsoft Betas Killer App Killer

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:49AM (#14906795)
    What are people going to say when a photograph looks fake? It must have been expressed? Doesn't sound right.
  • I tried it.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigman2003 (671309) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:51AM (#14906801) Homepage
    Okay, I'll admit that I am somewhat of a Microsoft fan. (see my history...) Yeah, you might think I'm sick. But I do think they put out a lot of good software.

    I was excited about this when it was announced. I've downloaded the betas...umm...it just isn't quite good.

    Yes, I understand it is a beta.

    But this thing is ugly, it's SLOW and it doesn't seem to be anywhere NEAR Photoshop.

    I've downloaded tons on Microsoft betas (working on IE 7 now) and this had to have been the worst that I ever used. I just don't know where this one is heading. People up above suggested that this will be an integral part of the OS and bundled in...

    I don't see how it has a chance otherwise...

    Not to mention the fact that the world isn't even ASKING for a Photoshop replacement.
    • by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:11AM (#14906935)
      "Not to mention the fact that the world isn't even ASKING for a Photoshop replacement."

      The world might not be, but I am. Photoshop, for all its snazzy tools, is in need of a refresh, one it's not going to get from Adobe. Many bugs have persisted in every version I've used, from 4 to 8 (CS), and the basic interface has never changed. There are lot of usability improvements that could be made.*

      I'd personally like Apple or a Mac software outfit like Panic to create a Photoshop competitor. With APIs like Core Image and Core Data available now, much of the groundwork is already laid for a great OS X application. And if I were running Adobe, I'd get a small team of engineers like the ones responsible for Lightbox to start building a Photoshop replacement from the ground up.

      * Here's an example of what I mean. To save a .png file after editing it, I should just be able to hit "save". Instead, it takes no fewer than 6 clicks to get the darn file saved. Adobe does little or no usability testing, I'm convinced.
      • And you really think that Microsoft is going to be the one to bring UI improvments to Photoshop? It's not exactly their strong suit.
        • "And you really think that Microsoft is going to be the one to bring UI improvments to Photoshop? It's not exactly their strong suit."

          Sorry, I should have been more specific that I neither expect nor want a Photoshop competitor from Microsoft on my platform (OS X). However, I do want someone to make a better graphic design application, and I suspect many designers on the Windows side of things would agree.
      • I'd personally like Apple or a Mac software outfit like Panic to create a Photoshop competitor. With APIs like Core Image and Core Data available now, much of the groundwork is already laid for a great OS X application.

        Aperture is one such application, making heavy use of both Core Image and Core Data.

        While not a replacement for all of Photoshop, it replaces much of what a photographer would otherwise do in Photoshop. And that helps clear the way potentially for something smaller that does the remaining, m
      • by BrynM (217883) * on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:22PM (#14909290) Homepage Journal
        * Here's an example of what I mean. To save a .png file after editing it, I should just be able to hit "save". Instead, it takes no fewer than 6 clicks to get the darn file saved. Adobe does little or no usability testing, I'm convinced.
        This may sound like a cliche, but that's a feature! It's not letting you save instantly because you've created layers and PNG doesn't support layers. I do things to single layer PNGs all of the time. All it takes is a simple ctrl-s to save. If you've got layers, hit ctr-shift-e before ctrl-s to merge all of the visible layers and flatten the image. You can even undo (ctrl-z) the flattening after your save if you want to continue editing with layers as long as Photoshop is still open. If using three key combinations is too much, you can use save for web (alt-shift-ctrl-s) and save your layered original as a PSD (complete with your save for web settings from the operation) seperately.

        CS is all about workflow andnon-destructive editing. That's why production shops (and I) like it. Even if you did have something that took "6 clicks" to do, you could record it as an action, highlight at which points it should ask you questions if at all and assign it to a key such as F5. Sorry, but your usability problem lies with the user on this one.

    • Re:I tried it.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr_Silver (213637) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:17AM (#14906985)
      Not to mention the fact that the world isn't even ASKING for a Photoshop replacement

      Indeed. In fact, if they bundled Paint.NET [wsu.edu] in with Windows, then this would be perfectly adequate for the vast majority of people. It is that good.

      I'm not sure how well Paint.NET stacks up in terms of features against the GIMP. My own personal experience was that it was easier to use, the UI was logical and I was productive with it in a matter of minutes - whereas GIMP just had me getting frustrated and going nowhere quickly.

    • But this thing is ugly, it's SLOW and it doesn't seem to be anywhere NEAR Photoshop.


      Maybe the point is to have an integrated package that will make ready to use UI elements for Vista applications? Part of that was developing some image editing functionality.

      I'm not going to stand behind that, just to kick an idea out there. With the complexity of the new UI it seems reasonable to me that MS would want to put an integrated solution out there.
    • Not to mention the fact that the world isn't even ASKING for a Photoshop replacement.

      They weren't asking for a PageMaker replacement, either. Now PageMaker is a footnote in the history of graphic designers and layout editors.

      The sick, evil beauty of the MS Publisher coup is that people who didn't even know they wanted or needed PageMaker started using Publisher, because it came from a larger marketing vector and sometimes even simply came with their computers or office suites. (Sound familiar?)

      That's how MS
    • I don't see how it has a chance otherwise...

      Not to mention the fact that the world isn't even ASKING for a Photoshop replacement.


      It would be amazing if MS could seriously hurt Photoshop with the simple 20%/80% rule and not to sell this separetly, but just an update on mspaint. One of the "little" features that made me like WinXP was the Picture and Fax viewer and viewing folders as thumbnaiils. Oh programs to do the same things have been around, but they'd be something that I'd have to hunt and buy a licen
  • Rudderless Ship? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blcamp (211756) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:54AM (#14906820) Homepage
    Seems like the Good Ship Redmond is adrift. They are preoccupied by too many projects going on, such as putting the wraps on Vista and Longhorn Server, "Orcas" (successor to Visual Studio 2005, aka "Whidbey"), Office 12... then they still have to deal with antitrust fights all around the world.

    I notice too, that they haven't bought anyone out recently. They probably should, because they certainly haven't had much luck with any new product development. UMPC (or, "Newton XP") is going to be DOA.

    Instead of "Developers! Developers! Developers!", Balmer needs to be jumping around screaming "Ideas! Ideas! Ideas! Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!"
    • Re:Rudderless Ship? (Score:2, Informative)

      by demongp (881564)

      I notice too, that they haven't bought anyone out recently.

      Actually, they are still pretty active on the buyout scene - one particular one that i am thinking about right now is the recent buyout of UMT Portfolio Management software see http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-5998084.html [zdnet.com] for more details.

      You probably won't be very interested in this, but it is quite big actually (if only in my field) and is sure to give MS quite a boost in the Project and Portfolio Management software arenas

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:55AM (#14906824)
    Vista needs to be released first

    Looks like Vista is the Photoshop-killer-killer
  • Editorial slant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubjames (468013) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:55AM (#14906825)
    Did Microsoft ever say this was going to be a "Photoshop killer" or is that just editorial? This kind of editorial doesn't help at all, in fact it muddies the waters if it is not meant to be a product that competes with Photoshop. Editors are supposed to clarify things.
  • I wonder how Microsoft will fare competing with Adobe and if any artistic/talented types have some input on it.

    It appears another potential market for MS growth (virtualization) is being headed off by the release of free tools for the user, and possible open sourcing (talking about EMC/VMware).

    Could Adobe be up to the same, going OSS with file formats to prevent MS from making inroads?
  • They did what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ErikZ (55491) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:59AM (#14906850)
    They...stopped working on it?

    What happened? Did they run out of programmers?
  • ... unless they actually call it "Photoshop", and it it exactly the same as Photoshop in every way. People will still want Photoshop installed, regardless of the alternatives.

    Heres a thought though; why don't Microsoft stop trying to "kill" everything and work on making their operating systems more secure and robust?
  • by creimer (824291) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:03AM (#14906874) Homepage
    If they want to dominate the market, the product pricing has to be between what you would pay for Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop. Plus they have to offer a Mac version and a free Wacom tablet.

    Nah... that will never happen.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:05AM (#14906892)
    My guess in the whole deal is that they've been working on it, saw that it can't hold a candle to Photoshop and to the fact that Adobe pretty much sets the standard for DTP in Windows, so the whole deal will be revamped as an additional goodie in the Office suite.

    That way, some kinda graphics program is already on your machine when you have Office (and what office doesn't?), it's another thing that you can hand to marketing in an attempt to make OpenOffice look worse, and in a generation or two, they might start to create some "professional" or "enterprize" standalone version when they hit Adobe's market hard enough, when people got used to their "standard".

    MS isn't in a hurry. Taking over a market someone else claimed takes time, and time is what they have plenty of.

  • Mysteriously, it'll run much faster than photoshop....

  • by zaguar (881743)
    Repost from the other thread, but it's still valid

    / \
    O O
    |||/
    |\/|
    \__/
    Hey there, partner! It looks like you're trying to change your color balance!

    Would you like me to:
    1. Overwrite all pixels with #000000
    2. Overwrite all pixels with #FFFFFF
    3. Corrupt your image
    4. Save your image in our proprietary format that even we can't read
    5. Take you to the Gimp homepage
  • by nysus (162232) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:24AM (#14907045)
    When I think MicroSoft, I don't think creativity. It seems MS fails to understand the concept of branding. You can't have two different personality traits, one creative and hip, the other nerdy and utilitarian, and sell products under the same banner. It's just doesn't work in the mind of consumers.
    • Obviously, I mean, look at Microsoft's low market value! They know nothing about putting their products to market and selling the hell out of them.

      Warning: High levels of sarcasm detected.
      • by nysus (162232) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:40AM (#14907191)
        MS's fortunes were built on two products, Office and Windows. That doesn't translate to success with other software.

        You can't make Oldsmobiles and then expect to put out the #1 selling sports car in the field as well. GM is just not identified with slick sports cars. Yeah, they have one (the Pontiac Grand Prix), but it's certainly not a top seller.
        • using your analogy, if microsoft made Oldsmobiles, and then decided to start also making decent car stereos, you can bet each Oldsmobile would have a Microsoft car stereo.

          It doesn't matter if it's good or not, if they replace MSPaint with Paint.net, all the better. Will it kill photoshop? Nope, but I bet quite a few amateur graphics people would purchase Paint.net if it wasn't $1000.

          Oh, and people used your same argument when Microsoft made the XBox and look where it's at now.
        • GM is just not identified with slick sports cars. Yeah, they have one (the Pontiac Grand Prix), but it's certainly not a top seller.


          Yeah, that Japanese made Corvette sure is putting GM to shame! Um...wait a minute...

  • expression (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:34AM (#14907125)
    Expression, formerly of creature house, was bought by microsoft a few years ago, company included. It is one of the most innovative packages around. I tracked the tragectory of this technology ever since its first debut at siggraph. Combining deep math and artist sensibility it married vector and bitmaped graphics in truly amazing ways. The key metaphor is that of a brush. Any image can become a brush-stroke, which can make new images which can become further brush strokes. It is extremely intuitive, especially to artists.

    My biggest worry is that microsoft might suck the soul out of this truly innovative product. It is light-years ahead of any painting program (Which is why MS had to buy it, because to allow it to be independent might mean that its own paint programs might have been out compete, however unlikely, snce it did not have a major distributer around the time it was bought out by MS.) especially if it is used in the right context.

    calling it photoshop-killer or positioning it against photoshop is not really the right strategy. Photoshop's core metaphor is that of a photo, so photoshop is especially deft at after effects applied to a photo or the compositing of existing photos. (I'm sure there are people who break the metaphor and create masterpiece digital paintings from photoshop, but nonetheless, original graphics is not photoshop's main domain.) Expression gives you canvas, paint, and a magical brush.

    Time will tell what will happen to this product, here's hoping that it doesn't die at microsoft's hands.

  • Does anyone else think that Microsoft's obsession with integrating every damn piece of software that they release is actually hurting their software rather than making it easier to use?

    I worked in Visual Studio 2003 for 2 years and waited with baited breath for 2005 (and all the bugs and new features it was promised to bring), it slipped back more than a year because SQLServer 2005 wasn't ready, then Team System wasn't ready... Now it's finally released and it isn't the fantastic piece of software we though
    • "Now it's finally released and it isn't the fantastic piece of software we thought it would be, partly I recon because the focus wasn't on the IDE, it was on making it and a ridiculous amount of satellite software all work together and integrate seemlessly"

      Yeah, because the last thing you want in your IDE is an easy and simple way to build, manipulate and deploy your databases. Thats really a silly idea all right. Down with integration!

      Or that incredibly slick Office SDK that makes it a absolute snap to bui
  • That hipster dude on MS's "Expression" page looks like he's being arrested and preparing to be handcuffed. Fitting, I guess- "Shackle your creative possibilities!" What would you expect from a company who gives their products such creative names as "Graphic Designer", "Interactive Designer", and "Web Designer"...
  • Why Why Why Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacks smirking reven (909048) on Monday March 13, 2006 @11:18AM (#14907560)
    I myself am usually a pretty good defender of Microsoft as i find Windows to do everything i need with a bit of tweaking, but this is what bothers me most about them..... They seem to be trying to be all things to all people and losing focus on their prime objectives. As we hear about Microsofts AV software, Graphics software, Google threats, etc etc we hear about features that keep getting sliced out of Vista to the point that its beginning to sound like XP SP3. IMHO they need to focus on a solid, secure OS core that will run this type of software in a stable, usable environment and let companies like Adobe and Macromedia (oops, one in the same now!) worry about specialized programs like this.
    • Yeah, I definitely agree with that. Typically, I'm pretty accepting of Windows, being a Windows developer and all. But I get the distinct feeling that very few features are getting added to any of their software anymore while the amount of time it takes to get to a release has become much longer than it used to.

      SQL Server 2005 was worth the wait, but they didn't really change as much at the core of it. The facelift on the UI was definitely needed, and a welcome change, but there didn't seem to be enough cha
  • Expression/Sparkle (Score:2, Informative)

    by smallguy78 (775828)
    Watch this video: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1578 43 [msdn.com] You'll see Expression comes in 3 flavours and is geared at a kind of Flash alternative (working with XAML). Only one of the 3 versions is geared for photoshop type useage. It's more geared towards vector graphics from what I can see.
  • "Don't know what it is? Just Google it." (google.com)

    "Old and useless? Ebay that shit." (ebay.com)

    "Wanna know more about me? Facebook me." (facebook.com)

    "Blog it." (blog.com)

    "Sneeze? Use a kleenex."

    "Red eye? Photoshop it." (Photoshop)

    It's not very easy to unseat the champion when its name is synonymous to the activity it is dominating in.
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Monday March 13, 2006 @05:27PM (#14910903)
    The tool "Microsoft Acrylic Graphic Designer" or "Microsoft Expression Graphic Designer" was NEVER meant to be even in competition with Adobe, especially Photoshop.

    Do the idiots writing this stuff or posting reference to this crap even use Photoshop in their life, let alone the MS product?

    As a developer, it was VERY CLEAR from MS to us DEVELOPERS that Acrylic was a new XAML based drawing application FOR MAKING WINDOWS WPF/WinFX APPLICATION AND WEBSITES.

    PERIOD.

    The features it offers are not even comparable to Photoshop, the closest product on the market that would be 'comparable', would be Deneba Canvas, but Acrylic Designer has NO WHERE NEAR the features set or even tries to.

    It is made to make Graphics in XAML format to be put into the "Interactive Designer" or dropped directly in a WPF/Vista/WinFX application, as they are in XAML format.

    Why XAML? Because the elements are common objects and not just lines, and can be accessed and programmed to react or move as the application requests, not to be a new 'picture' format or even a SVG killer. I can take a freaking XAML ID/NAME tag and have the line move, reshape, float around, respond to a user clicking it, and all in a 3D Space.

    And XAML itself can also define 'behaviors' for the elements in the file format. Not something a normal standard like SVG even tries to do. When SVG is for designing Windows applicaions and can define not only visual elements but also can do object collision and movement, then we will talk.

    I get so tired of the "SVG Killer, Flash Killer, Photoshop Killer, Acrobat Killer, blah, blah, blah..."

    (And Flash is the closest to reality with expression and XAML, as some people have went on to write little application that are Flash based, although it is not powerful enough to write full scale Windows applications, and here is where the difference lies, not to mention the level of programming difference, the full 3D workspace and design environemnt Microsoft has created.)

    Flash will live on doing what it does, but it won't be used to make Windows Applications... Geesh.

    MS Expression are tools and technologies for DEVELOPING applications in the new 'Presenation Layer' concept of Windows Vista and WinFX runtime components for XP.

    If you don't believe me, actually go use these applications in a 'development' environment (they are free downloads even) and see how they are 'designed' to be the new generation of 'development' tools, adding in elements for 'graphic designers' that are programmible. Your first clue would be to notice that code that lays behind the drawing, and all the items of the drawing have the cute little Object properties that looks more like somthing from Visual Stuido/Visual Basic. And trust me, this is not somthing you find in Photoshop.

    If you use Acrylic and think it could ever be a Photoshop killer, then you are smoking something the rest of us are not. It is not even the same type of drawing tool - anyone know Vector/Bitmap differences? Anyone?

    Please save our sanity and stop the crap about every thing Mirosoft is doing as being a 'Killer' of some other companies products. Especially development design tools killing Photoshop, jeeez.

    Even the new Tablet PC from MS were iPod Killers, how far can you go with this? What next, "The new clock in Windows Vista is a Killer of your home grandfather clock."

    If you are posting a link to an article, it should at least be something you 'get' or understand, or you should not be allowed to write the pretext for the link. PERIOD.

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