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Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Photoshop Killer' 212

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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  • Re:I tried it.. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:34AM (#14907131)
    Nor is it intended to be a PhotoShop killer. It has a completely different purpose in life; to produce graphics to work well with the Avalon graphics system. It's core is vector graphics, not bitmap graphics, which immediately means that it's competing more with the likes of Illustrator and not PhotoShop. But even then it's not meant to really be a general purpose tool, it's much more closely related to software development. The two other products in the Expression line are a webpage designer (Quartz) and an application UI designer (Sparkle). This product tied in with those two.

    Personally I think Microsoft would be right by not releasing Acrylic as it's own stand alone product. They should release it with Sparkle and Quartz as a graphics editor. Users will still have their choice as even now there are plugins for Illustrator to product files which can be imported and used by Sparkle.

    This whole "Photoshop-killer" thing was invented by ZDNet and perpetuated by Slashdot. Microsoft never claimed it.
  • Re:Masochism (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @11:12AM (#14907504) Homepage
    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 not purple.
  • Expression/Sparkle (Score:2, Informative)

    by smallguy78 ( 775828 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @12:01PM (#14907967) Homepage
    Watch this video: 43 [] 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.
  • by pilkul ( 667659 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @12:16PM (#14908109)
    if you're editing and re-saving a PNG while keeping the layers un-flattened

    It forces you to jump through these hoops because this is a dangerous operation: you're actually throwing away data by doing this. I'd rather go through this dialog a hundred times than to once lose my layered copy of an image I've been working on for hours because some UI designer thought it would be "friendly" to have it rapidly save in an unlayered file format without warnings.

  • Re:Rudderless Ship? (Score:2, Informative)

    by demongp ( 881564 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:39PM (#14908904) Homepage
    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 [] 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 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.

  • Shadows in the Gimp (Score:3, Informative)

    by commanderfoxtrot ( 115784 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:05PM (#14909704) Homepage
    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 [].

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.