Is Microsoft trying to capture photography market?

This week Thomas Hawk (my favorite “Flickr-famous” photographer) and me will join a bunch of others on Microsoft’s campus up in Redmond, Washington, to attend a pro photography summit that Microsoft is hosting.

Why is Microsoft hosting a bunch of professional photographers?

Is it to kick off Microsoft’s Pro Photo Tools, Photosynth ( which got me, in 2006, to say it was the demo of the year), or DeepZoom? Maybe. After all, these things are really cool and photographers should flock to them in droves.

Is it because the digital photography market has finally gotten big enough to get Microsoft interested? Maybe.

But I think Microsoft has something else up its sleeve.

It knows that if Silverlight is going to have a chance against Flash it will have to get designers to give up Photoshop, or at least use other tools alongside.

Why?

Because designers now are in control of the toolset that many companies will chose. What’s the most important tool to these designers? Photoshop.

So, along comes a Microsoft salesperson trying to get Silverlight and the Microsoft toolset in the door. Things go well with the developers, because .NET code is a lot nicer than Flash stuff. The management likes the pitch too, because they probably will get a break on something else they are already buying (Office/Sharepoint/Exchange are all very popular inside most corporations). But then the team gets to the designers and they say “give up Photoshop? Over our dead bodies.” And the deal ends and the team chooses Adobe’s Flash. Adobe’s salespeople then get a call and they come over and show off Acrobat.com, which is a hit against Microsoft Office and you can see how this goes.

So, I’ll be watching this week to see what’s really behind Microsoft’s moves into photography. Is it to do something really remarkable (which Photosynth and Deep Zoom are)? Or is it to switch designers from Adobe stuff?

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Methinks they are planning a Flickr assault with an integrated offering that combines Photosynth and Deepzoom. (http://tinyurl.com/66uvoy – and check out the comment from a Photo Gallery Program Manager)

    Can they pull it off? Who knows…this is Microsoft after all.

  2. Methinks they are planning a Flickr assault with an integrated offering that combines Photosynth and Deepzoom. (http://tinyurl.com/66uvoy – and check out the comment from a Photo Gallery Program Manager)

    Can they pull it off? Who knows…this is Microsoft after all.

  3. Sorry, but if you honestly think Microsoft has a chance at taking on Photoshop…and winning…you’re flat out crazy.

    Designers are primarily Mac users…I should know, I am a professional graphic designer. It pains me everyday to have to use a Mac because I am a Windows fanboy through and through (I was forced to use Macs during my Undergrad years to get my design degree).

    But think about it: If designers are so dedicated to a single app (Photoshop) and stuck with Macs for YEARS when XP was significantly faster, cheaper and overall better than OS X (before they adopted Intel support)….why on earth would they all of a sudden switch over in droves to a Microsoft product??? Also keep in mind that it was like pulling teeth to get designers all over, young and old, to simply switch from Quark to InDesign, even though InDesign was significantly better than Quark 5 or later…and cheaper also.

    Microsoft’s “Photoshop” killer would have to not only out perform and outdo Photoshop in every way, Microsoft would also have to release a powerful Illustrator killer and InDesign alternative also…companies love Adobe now because they can get all their programs in one tidy, inexpensive package (compared to buying Quark XPress, Macromedia Flash/Freehand and Illustrator/Photoshop in the past). Designers also like it because UI elements and compatible file formats are shared between apps.

    If Microsoft wants to end Photoshop and Flash’s reign of power, they need to take their sights of Yahoo and buy Adobe for a couple dozen billion.

    Of course, it’s been rumored that Apple has their own image editing and layout software ready to go, in the event Microsoft ever does such a thing. And you know designers, where ever Macs are (no matter how crappy or artsy fartsy/expensive they may be), they will follow.

  4. Sorry, but if you honestly think Microsoft has a chance at taking on Photoshop…and winning…you’re flat out crazy.

    Designers are primarily Mac users…I should know, I am a professional graphic designer. It pains me everyday to have to use a Mac because I am a Windows fanboy through and through (I was forced to use Macs during my Undergrad years to get my design degree).

    But think about it: If designers are so dedicated to a single app (Photoshop) and stuck with Macs for YEARS when XP was significantly faster, cheaper and overall better than OS X (before they adopted Intel support)….why on earth would they all of a sudden switch over in droves to a Microsoft product??? Also keep in mind that it was like pulling teeth to get designers all over, young and old, to simply switch from Quark to InDesign, even though InDesign was significantly better than Quark 5 or later…and cheaper also.

    Microsoft’s “Photoshop” killer would have to not only out perform and outdo Photoshop in every way, Microsoft would also have to release a powerful Illustrator killer and InDesign alternative also…companies love Adobe now because they can get all their programs in one tidy, inexpensive package (compared to buying Quark XPress, Macromedia Flash/Freehand and Illustrator/Photoshop in the past). Designers also like it because UI elements and compatible file formats are shared between apps.

    If Microsoft wants to end Photoshop and Flash’s reign of power, they need to take their sights of Yahoo and buy Adobe for a couple dozen billion.

    Of course, it’s been rumored that Apple has their own image editing and layout software ready to go, in the event Microsoft ever does such a thing. And you know designers, where ever Macs are (no matter how crappy or artsy fartsy/expensive they may be), they will follow.

  5. Well, Expression is a pretty good suite of programs and I find Expression Design 2 as a good alternative to Illustrator. But I’m still waiting for an alternative to Photoshop.

  6. Well, Expression is a pretty good suite of programs and I find Expression Design 2 as a good alternative to Illustrator. But I’m still waiting for an alternative to Photoshop.

  7. I don’t think Microsoft can “capture” anything right now. Maybe scoop up a little market share here and there. I attended a focus group in Mountain View with web and graphic designers and they were asking us, in essence, about why our loyalties lay here or there regarding the design software we used. We did not find out until 2/3 through that the group was hosted by Microsoft for their Expression designer software. No one in the room felt compelled enough to switch the tools they were using for MS.

    Market penetration, familiarity of use, and interoperability/integration between products for workflow was an important factor. Not to mention, Microsoft would have had to offer quite a nice initial training package to help those with enough guts to switch.

    Photosynth can is indeed remarkable and is not a competitor to anything Adobe has as far as I know.

  8. I don’t think Microsoft can “capture” anything right now. Maybe scoop up a little market share here and there. I attended a focus group in Mountain View with web and graphic designers and they were asking us, in essence, about why our loyalties lay here or there regarding the design software we used. We did not find out until 2/3 through that the group was hosted by Microsoft for their Expression designer software. No one in the room felt compelled enough to switch the tools they were using for MS.

    Market penetration, familiarity of use, and interoperability/integration between products for workflow was an important factor. Not to mention, Microsoft would have had to offer quite a nice initial training package to help those with enough guts to switch.

    Photosynth can is indeed remarkable and is not a competitor to anything Adobe has as far as I know.

  9. I haven’t tried Design 2 yet (tried the first Expression Design though) but unless they made the typography controls a heckuva lot better and made the app feel more like Illustrator and less like CorelDraw that’s goin’ nowhere (even though I’d like it to catch on).

    As for Photoshop alternative, there is none…which, is just bizarre if you think about it. Corel’s Photo-Paint is probably the closest alternative to Photoshop…but whatever you can do in PP can be done in PS in a fraction of the time and more easily. Microsoft should be able to put together a knock off of Photoshop that has nearly all the bells and whistles (just copy PS but rename/rearrange some palette locatiions)…I don’t see why they just don’t make their own version.

    I think Robert is talking about basic “Pro Photographer” needs when he refers to Photoshop…most designers do fair, far more than adjust colors and apply a couple effects. We crop stuff, use the magic wand/selection tools, do tons of stuff with type, use layers like crazy, etc…….that’s why I never understood Aperture or Lightroom’s appeal….just freakin’ use Photoshop….I hope this isn’t what Microsoft is aiming for.

    They may just be planning to release a Flickr alternative (which I hope).

  10. I haven’t tried Design 2 yet (tried the first Expression Design though) but unless they made the typography controls a heckuva lot better and made the app feel more like Illustrator and less like CorelDraw that’s goin’ nowhere (even though I’d like it to catch on).

    As for Photoshop alternative, there is none…which, is just bizarre if you think about it. Corel’s Photo-Paint is probably the closest alternative to Photoshop…but whatever you can do in PP can be done in PS in a fraction of the time and more easily. Microsoft should be able to put together a knock off of Photoshop that has nearly all the bells and whistles (just copy PS but rename/rearrange some palette locatiions)…I don’t see why they just don’t make their own version.

    I think Robert is talking about basic “Pro Photographer” needs when he refers to Photoshop…most designers do fair, far more than adjust colors and apply a couple effects. We crop stuff, use the magic wand/selection tools, do tons of stuff with type, use layers like crazy, etc…….that’s why I never understood Aperture or Lightroom’s appeal….just freakin’ use Photoshop….I hope this isn’t what Microsoft is aiming for.

    They may just be planning to release a Flickr alternative (which I hope).

  11. An interesting take – I have and use iWork, Office (2003, 2007 and 2008) and Adobe CS3 (both PC and Mac), but never saw Photoshop as a lockin to Flash or vice-versa: for me at least, it’s a tool for producing and adjusting standard formats like PNG and JPEG, as well as quite a nice RAW converter. Likewise, Acrobat doesn’t strike me as a rival to Office in any way, except the trivial overlap that Office can now export PDFs (as can virtually every Mac application which prints!).

    If switching to Silverlight really requires giving up standard tools and formats, I very much hope it’s already doomed. Yes, lots of Photoshop users will have Flash as part of an Adobe suite – but if MS price Silverlight tools at a point where the cost drives people to stay with Flash, they deserve to lose to Adobe.

    What Microsoft really needs to learn to do here is “play nice with others”: yes, the designers want to use Photoshop, so Microsoft will either have to embrace that fact or lose. (Or actually offer something better and persuade people to switch… I’m not holding my breath there.)

    There are good reasons why I use each one of the tools I use. I receive raw data in Excel spreadsheet form, I get documents in Word and PDF format, then flow that from one application to another, usually heavily scripted. If your app can’t fit in with the other dozen or so, it’s not coming in: I already sideline Word as much as possible for exactly this reason.

  12. An interesting take – I have and use iWork, Office (2003, 2007 and 2008) and Adobe CS3 (both PC and Mac), but never saw Photoshop as a lockin to Flash or vice-versa: for me at least, it’s a tool for producing and adjusting standard formats like PNG and JPEG, as well as quite a nice RAW converter. Likewise, Acrobat doesn’t strike me as a rival to Office in any way, except the trivial overlap that Office can now export PDFs (as can virtually every Mac application which prints!).

    If switching to Silverlight really requires giving up standard tools and formats, I very much hope it’s already doomed. Yes, lots of Photoshop users will have Flash as part of an Adobe suite – but if MS price Silverlight tools at a point where the cost drives people to stay with Flash, they deserve to lose to Adobe.

    What Microsoft really needs to learn to do here is “play nice with others”: yes, the designers want to use Photoshop, so Microsoft will either have to embrace that fact or lose. (Or actually offer something better and persuade people to switch… I’m not holding my breath there.)

    There are good reasons why I use each one of the tools I use. I receive raw data in Excel spreadsheet form, I get documents in Word and PDF format, then flow that from one application to another, usually heavily scripted. If your app can’t fit in with the other dozen or so, it’s not coming in: I already sideline Word as much as possible for exactly this reason.

  13. interesting Robert, could this also have to do with Microsoft push into more cloud computing.

    Silverlight is already superior to Flash, how they get others to switch will be the real test.

  14. interesting Robert, could this also have to do with Microsoft push into more cloud computing.

    Silverlight is already superior to Flash, how they get others to switch will be the real test.

  15. This could be an interesting and ironic slap in the face for Microsoft.

    For so many years its inferior products have captured the marketshare (not all, Excel, for example), and now, if you are right, if Silverlight is superior to Flash (which I doubt anyway), MS will find out what its like to lose and say “But ours is better!” (I think there’s a scene in “Pirates of Silicone Valley” Where Steve J says that and Bill says it’s not about which is better. Oh the irony!)

    However, I also suspect Silverlight shouldn’t be compared to Flash, but rather Flex and AIR. My understanding is Flash is just one component of them and so saying Silverlight is better than Flash is misleading. Correct me if I am wrong.

    As another reader said, it’s not just about knocking off Photoshop, it’s about knocking off Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat and Flash. And all at the same time. Silverlight alone can’t knock of Flex or Flash. Expression alone can’t knock off Illustrator. The two of them together can’t knock off Creative Suite.

    And it won’t be easy anyway because Adobe aren’t standing still either. (Which is why the Zune hasn’t knocked off the iPod – because Apple didn’t stand still. Unlike with the original Mac when Apple did stand still when they thought the Mac would sell itself.)

    How do you catch a competitor that is way out in front and running just as hard and fast as you?

  16. This could be an interesting and ironic slap in the face for Microsoft.

    For so many years its inferior products have captured the marketshare (not all, Excel, for example), and now, if you are right, if Silverlight is superior to Flash (which I doubt anyway), MS will find out what its like to lose and say “But ours is better!” (I think there’s a scene in “Pirates of Silicone Valley” Where Steve J says that and Bill says it’s not about which is better. Oh the irony!)

    However, I also suspect Silverlight shouldn’t be compared to Flash, but rather Flex and AIR. My understanding is Flash is just one component of them and so saying Silverlight is better than Flash is misleading. Correct me if I am wrong.

    As another reader said, it’s not just about knocking off Photoshop, it’s about knocking off Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat and Flash. And all at the same time. Silverlight alone can’t knock of Flex or Flash. Expression alone can’t knock off Illustrator. The two of them together can’t knock off Creative Suite.

    And it won’t be easy anyway because Adobe aren’t standing still either. (Which is why the Zune hasn’t knocked off the iPod – because Apple didn’t stand still. Unlike with the original Mac when Apple did stand still when they thought the Mac would sell itself.)

    How do you catch a competitor that is way out in front and running just as hard and fast as you?

  17. I think they have a chance. Right now, there is not a good, affordable solution to Photoshop. You may try Gimp, Paint.Net or PhotoImpact but the result will not be positive.

    Also many users are a little bit saturated with Photoshop and because of that, products like Pixelmator have a chance.

    And Scott, regarding the interface, Illustrator is like old Office. That is the main drawback for Illustrator right now – ugly user interface. For beginners Illustrator or Photoshop interface is scary. Instead Designer 2 has a clean interface and because is not mature enough has few features. This could be a good strategy in order to bring inexperienced users closer to Microsoft.

    Anyway, we wait for your cover of the event, Robert

  18. I think they have a chance. Right now, there is not a good, affordable solution to Photoshop. You may try Gimp, Paint.Net or PhotoImpact but the result will not be positive.

    Also many users are a little bit saturated with Photoshop and because of that, products like Pixelmator have a chance.

    And Scott, regarding the interface, Illustrator is like old Office. That is the main drawback for Illustrator right now – ugly user interface. For beginners Illustrator or Photoshop interface is scary. Instead Designer 2 has a clean interface and because is not mature enough has few features. This could be a good strategy in order to bring inexperienced users closer to Microsoft.

    Anyway, we wait for your cover of the event, Robert

  19. You forget millions of photoshop users like me who will never switch to M$ even if they cure cancer. They have done too much damage to the whole industry and they have to pay with blood.

  20. You forget millions of photoshop users like me who will never switch to M$ even if they cure cancer. They have done too much damage to the whole industry and they have to pay with blood.

  21. “Things go well with the developers, because .NET code is a lot nicer than Flash stuff.” Succinctly, the two biggest reasons to avoid their dependent toolsets. Proprietary, opaque, and the former designed as a locked trunk. Photographers and/or their management should limit shooting themselves in the face to photography.

  22. “Things go well with the developers, because .NET code is a lot nicer than Flash stuff.” Succinctly, the two biggest reasons to avoid their dependent toolsets. Proprietary, opaque, and the former designed as a locked trunk. Photographers and/or their management should limit shooting themselves in the face to photography.

  23. Years ago in the Win95 days, Microsoft had a product call Microsoft Image Composer, which was intended as a Photoshop killer.

    Although I can’t say I’m anywhere close to an expert in either tool, but Image Composer had a concept called “sprites” which were objects you could cut out of an image and manipulate. It seemed like a good model and even a bit more intuitive to me than doing similar things in Photoshop.

    In fact, I believe Image Composer was a product Microsoft obtained from a corporate acquisition. I’m rather surprised that they didn’t keep on improving it and pushing it along, since this strategy got them where they are with products like Powerpoint, Excel, Project and even Windows.

  24. Years ago in the Win95 days, Microsoft had a product call Microsoft Image Composer, which was intended as a Photoshop killer.

    Although I can’t say I’m anywhere close to an expert in either tool, but Image Composer had a concept called “sprites” which were objects you could cut out of an image and manipulate. It seemed like a good model and even a bit more intuitive to me than doing similar things in Photoshop.

    In fact, I believe Image Composer was a product Microsoft obtained from a corporate acquisition. I’m rather surprised that they didn’t keep on improving it and pushing it along, since this strategy got them where they are with products like Powerpoint, Excel, Project and even Windows.

  25. Scott, regarding Aperture and LIghtroom, there are photographers (wedding, commercial, portrait) whose primary deliverable to clients is a few hundred images from an assignment or event that are basically corrected for color and exposure. You don’t want to use Photoshop to correct each and every image, and you don’t need loads of layers and adjustments — quick batch correction of a bunch of RAW images to make them “pop” (or at least look acceptable) is the norm in these situations. This is where Lightroom and Aperture are handy — it is all about streamlining workflow.

    Of course, you could use Bridge and Camera Raw (which come with Photoshop) to do these batch global corrections, and in fact, that’s what my production assistant uses. But many of my colleagues like the other programs because (they claim) it’s a little easier to get the look they want, while Bridge is fussier.

    Photoshop still makes sense for more specific corrections, but I have to admit, given the thousands of images that I take on a weekly basis, that I would love it if the other programs started allowing selective corrections (rather than global) — that way, i would never have to open up Photoshop except for very special images.

    Microsoft, sadly, has nothing to say to me and most professional photographers. What Robert is referring to in these posts seems more targeted at advanced amateurs or at best, emerging pros. I’ve not been that impressed with Apple’s overtures toward photographers historically (iPhoto and Aperture don’t quite cut it for me right now), but I do get the sense they’re starting to get it.

  26. Scott, regarding Aperture and LIghtroom, there are photographers (wedding, commercial, portrait) whose primary deliverable to clients is a few hundred images from an assignment or event that are basically corrected for color and exposure. You don’t want to use Photoshop to correct each and every image, and you don’t need loads of layers and adjustments — quick batch correction of a bunch of RAW images to make them “pop” (or at least look acceptable) is the norm in these situations. This is where Lightroom and Aperture are handy — it is all about streamlining workflow.

    Of course, you could use Bridge and Camera Raw (which come with Photoshop) to do these batch global corrections, and in fact, that’s what my production assistant uses. But many of my colleagues like the other programs because (they claim) it’s a little easier to get the look they want, while Bridge is fussier.

    Photoshop still makes sense for more specific corrections, but I have to admit, given the thousands of images that I take on a weekly basis, that I would love it if the other programs started allowing selective corrections (rather than global) — that way, i would never have to open up Photoshop except for very special images.

    Microsoft, sadly, has nothing to say to me and most professional photographers. What Robert is referring to in these posts seems more targeted at advanced amateurs or at best, emerging pros. I’ve not been that impressed with Apple’s overtures toward photographers historically (iPhoto and Aperture don’t quite cut it for me right now), but I do get the sense they’re starting to get it.

  27. I’m an advanced amateur photographer, and Aperture really makes it easy to cull photographs to find the very best ones. Photoshop is a photo adjustment/compositing tool and that’s a completely different function.

    Depending on the specific subject, anywhere from 10-50% of photos I take might be worth showing someone, so finding the best pictures is every bit as important as manipulating the ones I find. Furthermore, Aperture does a really great job at making it easy and – dare I say it – fun to do this. I also like the Aperture non-destructive image editing model far better than Photoshop’s adjustments, which are frozen in place after you save the file and quit your current session.

    Generally, I only pull out Photoshop when I do layering and compositing, which unfortunately Aperture cannot do. I’m hoping that eventually Apple can add a Photoshop killer to their pro applications suite, all of which I really enjoy using.

    I write software for a living. Microsoft Windows made my job an absolute misery and I subsequently switched to Linux and then Mac. I will never forget how awful trying to program in Windows 3.1 and 95 was and I will never use a Microsoft product when there is even one viable alternative.

    I think a lot of graphic designers feel Windows is an aesthetic disaster and so they would rather work in an environment that was designed from the ground up to be great. I sympathise and agree.

    Needless to say, I’m very happy with the rise of the Mac and iPhone. I’m now writing software for iPhone and it’s a real joy.

    D

  28. I’m an advanced amateur photographer, and Aperture really makes it easy to cull photographs to find the very best ones. Photoshop is a photo adjustment/compositing tool and that’s a completely different function.

    Depending on the specific subject, anywhere from 10-50% of photos I take might be worth showing someone, so finding the best pictures is every bit as important as manipulating the ones I find. Furthermore, Aperture does a really great job at making it easy and – dare I say it – fun to do this. I also like the Aperture non-destructive image editing model far better than Photoshop’s adjustments, which are frozen in place after you save the file and quit your current session.

    Generally, I only pull out Photoshop when I do layering and compositing, which unfortunately Aperture cannot do. I’m hoping that eventually Apple can add a Photoshop killer to their pro applications suite, all of which I really enjoy using.

    I write software for a living. Microsoft Windows made my job an absolute misery and I subsequently switched to Linux and then Mac. I will never forget how awful trying to program in Windows 3.1 and 95 was and I will never use a Microsoft product when there is even one viable alternative.

    I think a lot of graphic designers feel Windows is an aesthetic disaster and so they would rather work in an environment that was designed from the ground up to be great. I sympathise and agree.

    Needless to say, I’m very happy with the rise of the Mac and iPhone. I’m now writing software for iPhone and it’s a real joy.

    D

  29. if microsoft wants to get print designers away from Adobe products it will need to provide decent support for PDF. Like it or not PDF is used by 99% of printing operations on this planet.

    if microsoft wants to get photographers to switch away from Adobe it needs to provide tools that could replace Lightroom and Photoshop. right now they don’t have anything themselves that could compete. Given that Microsoft historically doesn’t develop software from scratch but rather buys up other companies, then rebrands and finally ship as their own I don’t see anything mind blowing to emerge.

    Remember, while photosynth and Deepzoom are nice geek demos it does little to help professionals to sell more photography. And remember, a pro is defined by making money through photography not giving photography away for free.

  30. if microsoft wants to get print designers away from Adobe products it will need to provide decent support for PDF. Like it or not PDF is used by 99% of printing operations on this planet.

    if microsoft wants to get photographers to switch away from Adobe it needs to provide tools that could replace Lightroom and Photoshop. right now they don’t have anything themselves that could compete. Given that Microsoft historically doesn’t develop software from scratch but rather buys up other companies, then rebrands and finally ship as their own I don’t see anything mind blowing to emerge.

    Remember, while photosynth and Deepzoom are nice geek demos it does little to help professionals to sell more photography. And remember, a pro is defined by making money through photography not giving photography away for free.

  31. Photoshop has become bloatware with poor direction (Adobe just sits on its monopoly). M$ only has a chance if they can create a far superior product and actually get people to switch. Good luck with that.

  32. Photoshop has become bloatware with poor direction (Adobe just sits on its monopoly). M$ only has a chance if they can create a far superior product and actually get people to switch. Good luck with that.

  33. Microsoft’s best hope is not to replace Photoshop, but to change the game a la Deep Zoom etc. Offering new ways to do the same old thing won’t cut it, but you can’t do Deep Zoom or Photosynth in Photoshop.

  34. Microsoft’s best hope is not to replace Photoshop, but to change the game a la Deep Zoom etc. Offering new ways to do the same old thing won’t cut it, but you can’t do Deep Zoom or Photosynth in Photoshop.

  35. After seeing the last several edditions of Photoshop come out of Adobe, it seems to me that Photoshop is reaching the pinacle of mature softwares.
    It’s been a long time since the application was significantly modified at all, and the core platform is stable and feature complete. They just add tie-ins to their other products, and in the last version decided to rework the UI for some reason.

    The upshot of all that, is that the guys at Adobe clearly think that Photoshop does everything that it should do, and everyone else seems to think so too. How then could Microsoft produce a significantly better product? They can’t.

    One thing Scoble forgot to mention also, is Adobe’s new product Thermo. This tool allows designers to produce web application designs that are more than just static images from photoshop. This will be a big win for Adobe in my opinion.

  36. After seeing the last several edditions of Photoshop come out of Adobe, it seems to me that Photoshop is reaching the pinacle of mature softwares.
    It’s been a long time since the application was significantly modified at all, and the core platform is stable and feature complete. They just add tie-ins to their other products, and in the last version decided to rework the UI for some reason.

    The upshot of all that, is that the guys at Adobe clearly think that Photoshop does everything that it should do, and everyone else seems to think so too. How then could Microsoft produce a significantly better product? They can’t.

    One thing Scoble forgot to mention also, is Adobe’s new product Thermo. This tool allows designers to produce web application designs that are more than just static images from photoshop. This will be a big win for Adobe in my opinion.

  37. This is interesting. I know you will report back in detail what goes on in Redmond with their announcement. Digital Image Pro wasnt bad as an editing tool, but then they gave up on supporting it and rolled some features into Vista – which I will only buy if my machine dies on me… But PS CS3, Lightroom or the other Adobe variants are a behemoth to contend with. As the last comment said they are at the pinnacle of mature software. And will MS make Mac variants of any software? Would anyone buy it? :)

  38. This is interesting. I know you will report back in detail what goes on in Redmond with their announcement. Digital Image Pro wasnt bad as an editing tool, but then they gave up on supporting it and rolled some features into Vista – which I will only buy if my machine dies on me… But PS CS3, Lightroom or the other Adobe variants are a behemoth to contend with. As the last comment said they are at the pinnacle of mature software. And will MS make Mac variants of any software? Would anyone buy it? :)

  39. robert, the search on your blog seriously sucks. I was looking for an old blog entry about Annie Liebovitz… tried the search function but only got trash results. Went over to Google.com and typed “annie liebovitz scobleizer”… bingo, first link was exactly what I was looking for. So why would you implement a fancy network search if it doesn’t actually work?

    RE the Adobe vs Microsoft argument. The big issue here is that as many have pointed out Photoshop already does everything it needs to do and for everything else there is Lightroom.

    If Microsoft wants to compete they will basically need to release a product which does everything Photoshop and Lightroom do and ideally do it at no cost…

    … ever tried to shoot tethered a Windows machine? yeah… thought so. I gave up after about 3 hours. On a Mac with Lightroom it took me about 15 minutes to get everything working.

  40. robert, the search on your blog seriously sucks. I was looking for an old blog entry about Annie Liebovitz… tried the search function but only got trash results. Went over to Google.com and typed “annie liebovitz scobleizer”… bingo, first link was exactly what I was looking for. So why would you implement a fancy network search if it doesn’t actually work?

    RE the Adobe vs Microsoft argument. The big issue here is that as many have pointed out Photoshop already does everything it needs to do and for everything else there is Lightroom.

    If Microsoft wants to compete they will basically need to release a product which does everything Photoshop and Lightroom do and ideally do it at no cost…

    … ever tried to shoot tethered a Windows machine? yeah… thought so. I gave up after about 3 hours. On a Mac with Lightroom it took me about 15 minutes to get everything working.

  41. If Microsoft wants to compete they will have to make software that makes it easier for anyone to use from the normal home beginner photographer to the highly advanced down to detail photographer. I hope their product will encompass this.

  42. MS needs a expression image for pro photo editing and that intergrates with expression media-seeing as they got rid of Digital Image.

  43. MS needs a expression image for pro photo editing and that intergrates with expression media-seeing as they got rid of Digital Image.

  44. why does silver light need you to give up Photoshop

    and if for some reson you cant use PS in the sliver light workflow WTF where they thinking – looks Bill should have delivered one of his famous ass kicking chewing outs to the silverlight team.

  45. why does silver light need you to give up Photoshop

    and if for some reson you cant use PS in the sliver light workflow WTF where they thinking – looks Bill should have delivered one of his famous ass kicking chewing outs to the silverlight team.

  46. Image Composer didn’t die, it just changed names…went to “Digital Image Pro” and had a few iterations there. MS seems to reboot this effort every few years…why can’t they just stick with a product and continue to improve it.

    Image Composer was great for business users, as was Digital Image Pro but they didn’t share file types. Last version of DIP was 2006 “Anniversary Edition” which supposedly worked better with Vista.

  47. Image Composer didn’t die, it just changed names…went to “Digital Image Pro” and had a few iterations there. MS seems to reboot this effort every few years…why can’t they just stick with a product and continue to improve it.

    Image Composer was great for business users, as was Digital Image Pro but they didn’t share file types. Last version of DIP was 2006 “Anniversary Edition” which supposedly worked better with Vista.

  48. In France a number of serious photographers are using Zoomorama to show their photos in full resolution online. Zoomorama has been selected by Red Herring Technology magazine as most innovative European company of the year 2008.

    The viewer is in Flash, unlike DeepZoom, and the authoring is very simple. Service is Free with 2Gb of storage. Go to http://www.zoomorama.com

    Mac version is expected in February 2009.

    See here for an example: http://www.zoomorama.com/castor/6ffae58aa303b8ba8e50046454a1ef79

    You have multiple choice of license, and making the picture downloadable or not. Still there are always issue with ScreenGrabs. So if you want to protect your picture 100% you need to include watermarkings.

    Enjoy

  49. In France a number of serious photographers are using Zoomorama to show their photos in full resolution online. Zoomorama has been selected by Red Herring Technology magazine as most innovative European company of the year 2008.

    The viewer is in Flash, unlike DeepZoom, and the authoring is very simple. Service is Free with 2Gb of storage. Go to http://www.zoomorama.com

    Mac version is expected in February 2009.

    See here for an example: http://www.zoomorama.com/castor/6ffae58aa303b8ba8e50046454a1ef79

    You have multiple choice of license, and making the picture downloadable or not. Still there are always issue with ScreenGrabs. So if you want to protect your picture 100% you need to include watermarkings.

    Enjoy

  50. Don’t forget, Microsoft bought iView a few years ago and incorporated it into their Expressions line of tools.

  51. Don’t forget, Microsoft bought iView a few years ago and incorporated it into their Expressions line of tools.

  52. Hawk writes lots of MSFT-fan boy stuff over at Seekingalpha.com (investing sit). He’s probably getting some cash from the “astroturfing” fund at Redmond.

    I agree with several posters above: if ANYONE is going to “take out” Adobe, it’s Apple. Consider: Final Cut Pro essentially killed Premier. Lightroom and Aperture compete head-to-head. Preview does 95% of what Adobe Reader does and it does it MUCH faster and MUCH better– Preview is about a week’s worth of coding removed from being an app that could destroy PDF for Adobe; largely, Preview just needs improvements in authoring capabilities. As for Photoshop– yea. Apple could take on PS as well, if they so chose. I’m not sure MSFT could even manage Photoshop’s device support or system-level color profiling.

  53. Hawk writes lots of MSFT-fan boy stuff over at Seekingalpha.com (investing sit). He’s probably getting some cash from the “astroturfing” fund at Redmond.

    I agree with several posters above: if ANYONE is going to “take out” Adobe, it’s Apple. Consider: Final Cut Pro essentially killed Premier. Lightroom and Aperture compete head-to-head. Preview does 95% of what Adobe Reader does and it does it MUCH faster and MUCH better– Preview is about a week’s worth of coding removed from being an app that could destroy PDF for Adobe; largely, Preview just needs improvements in authoring capabilities. As for Photoshop– yea. Apple could take on PS as well, if they so chose. I’m not sure MSFT could even manage Photoshop’s device support or system-level color profiling.

  54. Agree with Andrew: Zoomorama is much easier to use than DeepZoom, with video integration, Text, and links And it all works in Flash, no pre-installation.

    No comparison is possible. Agreed.

    Thanks Andrew for pointing it out.

  55. Agree with Andrew: Zoomorama is much easier to use than DeepZoom, with video integration, Text, and links And it all works in Flash, no pre-installation.

    No comparison is possible. Agreed.

    Thanks Andrew for pointing it out.

  56. “Agree with Andrew: Zoomorama is much easier to use than DeepZoom, with video integration, Text, and links And it all works in Flash, no pre-installation.

    No comparison is possible. Agreed. ”

    Hard to get too excited about the zoom CONCEPT, either, having enjoyed Google Earth over the years…

  57. “Agree with Andrew: Zoomorama is much easier to use than DeepZoom, with video integration, Text, and links And it all works in Flash, no pre-installation.

    No comparison is possible. Agreed. ”

    Hard to get too excited about the zoom CONCEPT, either, having enjoyed Google Earth over the years…

  58. Robert,

    Microsoft have been serious about for some years but have a huge mountain to climb.

    Apple and Adobe are a trusted brand for creatives. This is due to good quality products and largely to great marketing. How many Microsoft bumper stickers have you seen? Mac zealots passionately defend their products even when they don’t deserve it. Adobe has a monopoly with their Creative Suite for same reasons people love Apple. I hope Microsoft can make a small dent into Adobe’s software sales because competition is a good thing for everyone. But they have to earn it.

    – Robert.

  59. Robert,

    Microsoft have been serious about for some years but have a huge mountain to climb.

    Apple and Adobe are a trusted brand for creatives. This is due to good quality products and largely to great marketing. How many Microsoft bumper stickers have you seen? Mac zealots passionately defend their products even when they don’t deserve it. Adobe has a monopoly with their Creative Suite for same reasons people love Apple. I hope Microsoft can make a small dent into Adobe’s software sales because competition is a good thing for everyone. But they have to earn it.

    – Robert.

  60. Mmmm I can’t see Microssoft making any real impression in the photography market. Photoshop is already great, people who use it are familiar with it, and like many people have said most photo design users are Mac users. If Microsoft want to attract users to whatever new imaging software they bring out, they’d better package it on top of a decent OS first!

  61. Mmmm I can’t see Microssoft making any real impression in the photography market. Photoshop is already great, people who use it are familiar with it, and like many people have said most photo design users are Mac users. If Microsoft want to attract users to whatever new imaging software they bring out, they’d better package it on top of a decent OS first!