Microsoft Releases Digital Image Suite 2006
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
This week, Microsoft launched Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006, a powerful package of easy-to-use tools designed to help consumers organize, enhance and share their rising number of digital memories. The new digital imaging software helps consumers, from the novice to the sophisticated photographer, easily find their favorite snapshots and video clips and do more with them in just a few clicks.
"We believe that consumers should have the tools they need to easily make digital images they are proud of even if they don't come out of the camera that way," said AnnMarie Thomas, marketing manager for the Home and Retail Division at Microsoft. "With Digital Image Suite 2006, it's simple to do everything from quickly cropping an image to creating a stunning black-and-white photo to share with family and friends."
Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 makes it easy to find, view and organize photos and videos with the following new tools:
- Hierarchical Keywords and Labels these provide stacked tags that you can use to organize, sort through and find your images in the way that best suits you - whether that's finding all the photos of a family vacation or a picture of a certain someone.
- Hover Thumbnail this enlarges thumbnail images whenever a mouse hovers above them, making it easy to view the image, along with details such as date taken, file type and size, resolution, and assigned Labels.
- Video support offers you the option to view and organize your videos in the same place as your photos. You can easily assign a 5-Star Rating, add Keywords and captions, or mark videos with customizable Flags representing a variety of actions such as For Review or To Share.
- RAW Support for Canon and Nikon cameras allows you to view and organize images shot in RAW category of formats, a high-quality photo format captured by many models of digital cameras. In addition, you can save the RAW format as a JPEG or TIF file for easy editing of the image.
Microsoft Digital Image Suite also offers a wealth of new and enhanced tools, including these:
- Black & White Effects making it easy to transform color photos into stunning, contrast-rich, black-and-white images by using a variety of preset filters, altering color tone or manipulating each of the color channels.
- Intuitive Crop intelligently analyzes the composition of a photo, such as faces in portraits or family photos, when you select to use the Crop task and suggests a way to crop the photo that will properly frame the subject(s) and create the best possible image.
- Photo Story 3.1 allows you to create a photo show with voice narration, customizable pans and zooms, and music. This year Microsoft has added the ability to make quick edits (red-eye removal, apply black-and-white filter), create an original soundtrack, and burn a CD with high-resolution VCD files, perfect for playing back on a TV.
- Sharing Disc allows you to easily burn photo CDs to share with friends and family, without disrupting detailed photo archive settings.
- Device Sync Support makes it easy to share photos and videos with mobile devices such as the Portable Media Center, Pocket PCs and Smartphones through syncing with Windows Media Player. You can simply flag the desired images, and the next time the mobile device syncs with the PC, the photos will automatically transmit.
To use Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 , consumers need the following:
- Multimedia PC with Pentium 700MHz or higher processor (700MHz recommended)
- Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system
- 256 MB of RAM (512 MB or higher recommended)
- 400 MB of available hard disk space
- Quad-speed CD-ROM drive or higher
- Super VGA monitor (800x600, 16-bit color or better)
- 1 MB of video RAM
- Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 software required and included. Up to an additional 75 MB of hard disk space may be required for Internet Explorer upgrade. This installation will not replace the user's primary browser.
Microsoft has a Digital Image Tour on their Web site.
Microsoft's 2006 line of digital imaging products, including Digital Image Suite 2006 and Digital Image Standard 2006, is available today. Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 offers more robust organization and editing features for an estimated retail price of $99.95 (U.S.), with a $30 mail-in rebate open to all consumers and an additional $10 digital camera mail-in rebate (if consumers purchase any digital camera within 30 days of acquiring the software).1 In addition, Digital Image Standard 2006, designed for first-time digital photographers, is available for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.).
Buy Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 from Amazon ($89.99)
Buy Microsoft Digital Image Standard 2006 from Amazon ($47.99)
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Longhorn & Internet Explorer 7 Beta's This Month?
Microsoft's official stance is that both Longhorn & Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 will be available "this summer", but most speculate on a release towards the end of this month.
Both Beta 1 versions will be more geared towards checking the technical stability of the software, and we'll have to wait for the Beta 2 versions for most of the "Eye candy" or GUI improvements to be made available.
If you're interested in the latest offerings from Microsoft, it looks this summer is going to be an interesting one. Stay tuned...
Newsletter Summer Schedule
Many of you are having a summer break in the coming months. I will reduce the newsletter publication frequency in these months.
Here is the planning so far:
9 & 23
6 & 20
3 & 17
At the end of September I will most likely travel to Redmond for the 2005 Global MVP Summit, returning home near the end of the 1st week of October. When I know a little more about my schedule I'll update the Newsletter publications dates for the remainder of September/October.
Have a good & safe summer!
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