Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft has quietly been building up graphics-related R&D, reports Computerworld, noting that Microsoft employees will be presenting one out of every eight papers at SIGGRAPH 2007. And it's not a fluke — other recent Microsoft graphics-related developments include Photosynth, which has been discussed on Slashdot several times, as well as the Silverlight/Expression Studio graphics suite, which will compete with Adobe's Flash/Illustrator/Lightroom/Dreamweaver offerings. At SIGGRAPH, Microsoft will supposedly have demos of some new software including image deblurring tools and Soft Scissors, which 'solves the vexing problem of how to cut and paste an image from one background to another if the image's edges — hair blowing in the wind, blades of grass — are very complex.' Microsoft's competitors aren't sitting down. Adobe's CEO, calling Microsoft a '$50 billion monopolist,' has questioned whether Silverlight will be compatible with non-Windows operating systems, and Google has also been building up its own graphics-related software products, such as the 3D modeling tool SketchUp, and Google Earth."
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