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Microsoft Pauses Work on 'Photoshop Killer'

Roblimo posted more than 8 years ago | 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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PaintbrushShop (4, Funny)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906730)

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 (4, Interesting)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906776)

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 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906802)

Remember DR DOS, Netscape? I expect that photshop will stop working with Windows pretty soon.

Re:PaintbrushShop (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906834)

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 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907047)

"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 (3, Informative)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907504)

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.

Re:Masochism (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907541)

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....

Re:Masochism (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907542)

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.

Adobe's Price (3, Interesting)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907409)

Perhaps this was the price for Adobe not developing a Linux version of Photoshop.

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

Free alternative to Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906963)

Gimp 2.2 (the free alternative)

Re:Free alternative to Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907152)

Would someone be so kind as to tell those Gimpy wierdos that its hard enough learning photoshop, so seperating that difficulty into 3 different windows that you have to tab back and forth from is really aggrivating? //PS, if there's a solution I don't know about, I'd be more than happy to hear about it. ///PPS: Can we please add the Graphic-Text support like in photoshop?

Re:Free alternative to Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907559)

Try gimp on Linux with sloppy focus + auto-raise, it's a completely different experience than on windows. But it doesn't really matter, because the gtk2 bullshit has pretty much destroyed any chance of gimp actually being taken seriously. I finally had to reinstall windows because gimp just can't get the job done. Which isn't even a tools issue (though Photoshop definitely has some stuff that kicks gimp's ass) but a UI one.

What I mean to say is fuck gimp/gnome/gtk. Those idiots are destroying both firefox and gimp, two OSS applications that are widely used on Linux and for which there are no viable alternatives.

Re:PaintbrushShop (2, Interesting)

Uber Banker (655221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906965)

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 (2, Interesting)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906989)

Has Adobe ever given an official position about porting to Linux?

Re:PaintbrushShop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907051)

Well they pretty much opened up PS and PDF, though I don't know if that was a specific endorsement of linux in particular...

Re:PaintbrushShop (2, Funny)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906780)

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.

This is why Adobe needs Linux. (3, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:This is why Adobe needs Linux. (1)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907301)

Photoshop is far to entrenched in the creative community and they have such an intense hivemind dislike of Microsoft products, that Adobe really doesn't have all that much to be overly concerned about.

Re:This is why Adobe needs Linux. (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907328)

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).

Re:This is why Adobe needs Linux. (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907371)

"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 that leave? Don't forget that even though Macs may only be up to 5% of the market a large pecentage of Mac users are artists. Compare this to the Linux desktop market which is mostly made of techies and hobbyists and extremely few graphic artists. Linux needs Adobee way more than Adobe needs Linux. Like I said it would be nice to have, but it just isn't gonna happen.

Re:This is why Adobe needs Linux. (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907547)

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.

The Cliché of "Killer" (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906737)

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.

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (1, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906842)

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 little bit of chocolate frosting :O)

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906847)


Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (4, Insightful)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (1)

Amonimous Coward (778781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906860)

You didn't grasp Microsoft's way of thinking.

They really are very keen on doing killer apps. But don't be mistaken. They are pros, so they mean killer in the real sense, that is:
through advanced secret programming techniques known only by MCKPs, their applications are able to conflict with others, thus killing them.

The first killer app I remember killed DR-DOS.

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (1)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906867)

No professional photographers I know (and I know a LOT) use GIMP because Linux doesn't have ubiquitous color management. Bzzt!

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (1)

kentrel (526003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906915)


For the /. editors everything is okay unless MS, Sony, or the Music Industry do it.

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (1)

Roblimo (357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906937)

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. :)

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906971)

he still laughed when I suggested the Gimp 2.0 because he was too ignorant to try something new

Maybe he values getting work done than wanking over open source...
Maybe he uses one of the thousands of commercial plugins...
Maybe he needs CMYK support (hello? Posters mean print work!)...
Maybe because a goat's ass has a better interface than the Gimp...

Simply Amazing. (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907226)

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.


Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907312)

Ballmer's gonna fucking kill you

Re:The Cliché of "Killer" (1)

Firewalker_Midnights (943814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907360)

I agree that GIMP is a decent application, however it has several drawbacks which are mostly OS related (specifically it has a bad habit of eating memory and crashing quite a bit in Windows). While the features included with GIMP are comparable to photoshop, there are a few things also lacking.

My main issue with the GIMP vs. Photoshop is not of toolsets or functionality (which are decently close to one an other) but rather two simple things. My personal experience has shown that Photoshop is a lot more powerful when it comes to the actual processing of the image that's being edited. Also, the integration with Adobe's other products (Illustrator, for example) is another reason why I use Photoshop.

GIMP's great, but I'm not going to use it for my job until it matches photoshop in the power and integration area, and to be honest, I can see this happening in the near future, as GIMP is a really great example of what GNU can do for powerful applications.

If anything were to come along and kill PS... It wouldn't be that hunk of crap from Microsoft, it'd be GIMP.

Gimps (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906739)

Come on You Gimps

News? (5, Funny)

bk4u (682315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906752)

This isn't news, let me know when Google makes one, then I'll be interested

Re:News? (2, Funny)

simong (32944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906875)

But what would Google do with the knowledge that people photoshopped their girlfriends' head onto Angelina Jolie's body?

Re:News? (5, Funny)

mod-e-rate (866633) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Funny)

webword (82711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906758)

The answer to the Ultimate Question of Life... ...also the number of times the Gimp will be mentioned here.

Re:42 (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907183)

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... ;)

Expression marketing campaign? (4, Funny)

Rahga (13479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906760)

"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."

Re:Expression marketing campaign? (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907423)

"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!"

Looks more like they're bending over [microsoft.com] to me...

How else do you explain his Expression?

Beta Version avaliable now (5, Funny)

phase_9 (909592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906777)

if you haven't tried the beta already, simply press the Windows Key and R, then type 'mspaint.exe' without the quotes.

Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (2, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#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".

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (1)

bensch128 (563853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906832)

I think they want Expression Interaction Designer to be a Flash+Photoshop+Freehand+Illistrator killer. They're putting in pixel+vector tools and scripting and god knows what else. Personally, I'm putting my money on them losing a lot of money for 2-3 years before they realize the ideal feature set. Then who knows...

Adobe will be under an immense amount of pressure from this though. MS wants to steal their bread and butter. I expect a lawsuit in 2 years for UI infringment.


PS. Hopefully some interesting oss ui projects will get started because of this...

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907123)

Adobe will be under an immense amount of pressure from this though. MS wants to steal their bread and butter. I expect a lawsuit in 2 years for UI infringment.

God, I hoped not. One thing I consistently dislike about Photoshop is the UI. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a pretty good track record for UI. I had high hopes that Expression Graphic Designer would have a better UI than Photoshop, but with all the goodies.

Alas, I've downloaded the CTP. Less features and a klunky UI. Even GIMP is better. Heck, Paintshop Pro is better.

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (2, Insightful)

Rahga (13479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906848)

"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 use more than 1 of the 4 products.

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906865)

Microsoft throwing money, crushing competitors, google, switching to linux and a shoutout to linux. Wow, that has covered all the keywords. hmmm... let's see, you sir will be modded +5 informative. Oh, since when did google have a photoshop type app? Have a nice day

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907112)

Google don't have a "photoshop type app", but Microsoft and Google have plenty of competing products.

I'm putting my money on Google's office suite being free, and Microsoft having their new search engine as the "start" page in IE7 when Vista launches.

Have a lovely day yourself, sir. :)

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (1)

Aokubidaikon (942336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906897)

Photoshop-killer? Maybe they should try to make a Gimp-killer first before taking on Adobe ^_^

Re:Then it's not a "Photoshop Killer" (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906999)

The thing that companies have to realise is that they really need Linux.

I hope that Google buying Writely and building a Calendar is part of this - disconnecting "office" functions from the OS.

Yawn. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906789)

Yawn. Microsoft kills nothing but itself. Wake me up when they fix the internet.

Expression vs. Creative Suite or iLife? (2, Insightful)

od05 (915556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906793)

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...

Re:Expression vs. Creative Suite or iLife? (3, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906964)

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.'

The next logical headline is (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906794)

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

Microsoft Expression? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906795)

What are people going to say when a photograph looks fake? It must have been expressed? Doesn't sound right.

I tried it.. (5, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906801)

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.

Re:I tried it.. (1)

daigu (111684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906884)

By the time Microsoft comes out with a Photoshop killer, InDesign will have already buried it.

Re:I tried it.. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906984)

Ummm, yeah. Cos InDesign has such high-end raster manipulation functions...Do you even have the slightest clue of what you speak?

I'd like a Photoshop replacement (3, Interesting)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:I tried it.. (4, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

But does it work in Linux? (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906808)

I dunno why anyone cares. MSFT is so childishly inept.

If I can forward an X session from a Solaris box through SSH to my $INSERT_OTHER_OS and use the application just fine why would I want to be tied to applications which only work on Windows?

Besides, everyone knows Macs are for the artisty-foo-foo crowd.

And besides [again], you know there will be some exploit in the proprietary MSFT only image format they decide to use that will let someone root your box just by looking at a folder with a questionable image in it.


Rudderless Ship? (4, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906820)

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? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14906871)

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

They bought Onfolio five days ago.

the Photoshop-killer-killer (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906824)

Vista needs to be released first

Looks like Vista is the Photoshop-killer-killer

Editorial slant (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Editorial slant (5, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907099)

It seems the product do not even aim at being a photoshop-like application. Maybe this has changed since the beta, but the main purpose was vectorial graphism.

Microsoft is not even talking on its website about anything that could position it against Photoshop.
Just see by yourself

http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/gr aphic_designer/gd_features.aspx [microsoft.com]
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/overview.h tml [adobe.com]

When you tried to 'kill' another product, you generally start to match its features, in this case, both feature list have almost nothing in common.

For me that doesn't make more sense that saying Adobe Illustrator is a Photoshop killer.

BTW, this has already been discussed:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/11/185123 1 [slashdot.org]

competition with adobe? (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906846)

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?

Re:competition with adobe? (1)

Masq666 (861213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906917)

I realy don't think Microsoft will be capable of taking market share from Adobe, microsoft may have the resources to make a good competitor to Photoshop, but i realy don't think they'll be able to make something better.

Re:competition with adobe? (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907043)

I think MS would have a rougher time invading the graphics space, than would say, Google. After using Picasa, there is no doubt in my mind Google understands UI.

http://picasa.google.com/ [google.com]

Picasa really does make navigating large amounts of photos a breeze. Free too, which is always a plus, and the integration with gmail is growing also.

They did what? (3, Interesting)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906850)

They...stopped working on it?

What happened? Did they run out of programmers?

Re:They did what? (1)

jkmiecik (242175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907442)

Or the programmers were assigned elsewhere.

Crap, forgot this is /. and anything to make M$ (can't forget the $) look bad will get modded up.

It will never work. (1)

Xerp (768138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906852)

... 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?

The Perfect Photoshop Killer... (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906874)

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.

To add to the guessworking (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:To add to the guessworking (1)

ingwa (958475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907235)

A good thing, then, that KOffice [koffice.org] is there to take up the slack, eh? It contains both a pixel graphics editor / paint program (Krita) and a vector graphics editor (Karbon).

And if the lack of a mail program is a real problem, then just package it with Kontact [kontact.org] and you have almost an equivalent of outlook too.

It'll run faster than photoshop (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14906911)

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

Cart before the horse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907025)

Maybe they should spend less time worrying about Expressions and more time finishing Vista. I'm sure the new OS will have a better imaging program than Photoshop, a better search program than Spotlight, a better music manager than iTunes, and a better widget program than Konfabulator. They are overlooking one minor detail...most people prefer products that exist over those that don't.

Clippy Returns! (2, Funny)

zaguar (881743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907027)

Repost from the other thread, but it's still valid

/ \
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

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907304)

Now thats chutzpah! Shamelessly stealing material from other posts and telling everyone you what you did like you are proud of doing it. I believe this will work for fooling those clever mods into giving you points.

Re:Clippy Returns! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907333)

I like that rendering of clippy - the "nose" has that special feeling in it. Eyes could be placed a little better though.

MS not synonymous with creativity (3, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:MS not synonymous with creativity (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907085)

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.

Re:MS not synonymous with creativity (3, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:MS not synonymous with creativity (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907374)

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.

expression (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

The Battle for 2nd Place (1)

FearTheFrail (666535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907176)

Given how strongly the slashdot commenting body seems to be railing against it right now, would that indicate that all it was heading towards was a head-on battle with Corel's (once Jasc's) knock-off, Paint Shop Pro?

Does anybody else think... (2, Interesting)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907248)

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 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. Can't help thinking Microsoft would be better off if they *weren't* able to work so closely together!

How many Micro$oft employees does it take (0, Offtopic)

rssrss (686344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907259)

To change a light bulb.

They have how many tens of thousands of programmers, computer scientists, managers, testers and so forth. They ought to be able to ship software.

Unless, of course, the whole company has devolved into a bureaucratic clusterf#$%.

The real reason (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14907381)

To get further in the code, they need to wait for the next version of the GIMP software to be released.

You have the right to remain boring... (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14907522)

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? (5, Insightful)

jacks smirking reven (909048) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.
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