Consumer Photo Features


Hi, my name is Lorrin Maughan; I’m a Product Manager with the Windows Client Marketing organization, focused on the Windows Vista consumer story. Being a typical consumer, I’m going to talk about how I’m using some of the consumer focused features in Windows Vista.

Until I recently, I’ve been running both Windows XP and Windows Vista, on two separate laptops, kind of like having training wheels. Well, I had to travel to Poland this week on a business trip, so instead of carrying two laptops I decided to do away with the safety net and be All Vista, All The Time. In fact, I’m running both Windows Vista and Office 2007, and it’s great! The Windows Vista build I’m running is super stable and functional, and frankly I enjoy being able to play Mahjong or Chess in the airport instead of Solitaire – nothing like standing out from the crowd!

Most of my time has been spent in Warsaw this week, but yesterday a couple of colleagues and I flew to Wroclaw (pronounced Vrotzwav) in the west, to visit one of our largest local distributors. We were staying in the heart of the Old Town, so I took the opportunity to do a bit of sightseeing before dinner and again this morning – enter my trusty digital camera, and Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista! Now that I’m All Vista All The Time, I am using Windows Photo Gallery exclusively and it’s COOL. Let me share some of my favorite features…

The first thing I do when I import my photos is to tag them with key words so that I can always find them later, using the quick search function. Trust me, being able to tag my photos is GOLD – I take a lot of pictures, and I’m terribly disorganized! In Windows Photo Gallery, I can tag each photo individually with one or more keywords, or I can tag multiple photos at the same time. I can also give each photo a caption. Some people may still want to meticulously file their photos in various folders, and Windows Photo Gallery will support folder views but now that I can tag my photos, I don’t think I’ll ever use multiple folders again. All my photos will be in one big pile, because now I know I can always find the one I want! Of course I can also now find my photos by the date they were taken, which will be useful when I’m looking for photos of, say, holiday celebrations with my family.


The screenshot below shows the tags I’ve applied to my Wroclaw photos – you can also see the folders, date taken option and the search bar to the top right of the screen.

I am also a novice photographer – definitely a point-and-click girl! It’s good to know that Windows Photo Gallery has basic editing functions built right in so I don’t need third party software to fix red-eye, adjust exposure or crop a photo. But even better – if I mess up while editing a photo (happens all the time, I think I’m more creative than I really am) I can undo my edits. Returning to the Photo Gallery saves my changes, but Windows Photo Gallery keeps a digital negative of my photo, so if I want to, I can even revert right back to the original photo and start my editing all over again – I can’t tell you what a relief that is!


This screenshot shows the editing functions in Windows Photo Gallery – here I’m going to crop this photo

My family lives all over the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe, but we like to keep in touch, and we often share what’s going on in our lives by sending photos. With Windows Photo Gallery I can email my photos and it doesn’t matter if my Mom has a slow connection in South Africa because I can compress the pictures so they are easy to download. Also, I can easily get online and order prints from a retail photo finisher, and have them delivered to my Dad or ready for him to collect at his convenience in Oklahoma City. Now I can post photos to my Grandmother in Zimbabwe which means I can share my adventures with her even though she doesn’t have a computer.

When I get back from every trip, I like to print out my favorite picture from each town, to stick on my notice board in my office, and Windows Photo Gallery has an easy to use wizard that I can use to choose layout, paper size and more. When people ask me about my trip, I show them a cool slideshow that includes both still shots and video, using one of using one of the themes in Photo Gallery. Windows Photo Gallery lets me rate my pictures too, so I only need to show my friends the really good one. In fact, my screensaver is also set to display a slideshow of my photos, so everyone can enjoy them while I’m away from my PC.

Finally, at the end of every year, I like to create a DVD for my friends and family, showing the highlights and special moments of that year. I used to have to create a webpage format, and save it onto a data DVD, which assumes everyone has a PC with a DVD drive – well we already know that some people in my family don’t have that, and it’s also not as fun to have the family crowd around a PC to be able to enjoy my annual highlights DVD. So imagine my excitement when I see that Windows Photo Gallery lets me burn my photos to a DVD that can be used in a consumer electronics DVD player – in fact, I can now also use Windows Movie Maker to create a cool story about my year, with a soundtrack and voiceover, and then I can use Windows DVD Maker to really make a production of it, I can have scene transitions and chapters and it’s all so easy!


Movie Maker lets me do cool thinks with my pictures and videos before burning them to a DVD that I can play in a home DVD player

I could go on and on about how cool Windows Photo Gallery is, but this is a quick high level introduction today – I hope you enjoy the preview as much as I’m enjoying Windows Photo Gallery!

Lorrinm – all Vista, all the time!


Comments (30)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Today I stopped in the hallway to chat with a colleague of mine, Lorrin Maughan, about Parental Controls,…

  2. Don Rock says:

    Thanks Lorrin

  3. Bob Cromer says:

    Nice pictures; I am also running Vista "full time"as a beta tester;"it’s looking better with every drop"

  4. kishan says:

    Windows Photo Gallery looks good but Movie Maker looks almost identical to the XP one. Are you going to updtate it?

    🙂

  5. zzz says:

    Adjust X->setting 1,2,3

    Adjust Y->setting 4,5,6

    How is the UI planned to work? I’d rather not have to click through a ton of menus if I need to adjust more than one thing, multiplied by the amount of images needing adjustment. Will it be easy to just select a bunch (thousand or more) pictures and rotate, correct exposure etc and quickly flip through the adjustments in preview mode before applying them? And then undo specific adjustments later, such that if I saturated colors of 100 pictures I can then undo the saturation operation, keeping others while preserving the color detail.

    If MS set the expectations higher with their basic tools supplied with the OS, maybe the developer partners would start spending their time on a bit more valuable efforts than your average Windows app like Notepad+ NotepadWithUnixLineFeedSupport etc.

  6. Lorrin Maughan (Microsoft) says:

    Hi Kishan, we have made some great improvements to Movie Maker (as well as adding a new DVD Maker feature) and I’ll be posting an overview soon – in summary some of the improvements include the new player controls (consistent with photo gallery and media player), improved full screen preview resolution, a more streamlined layout and support for high definition video. We’ve also introduced new transitions and effects. More in my next post!

    Lorrinm

  7. Lorrin Maughan (Microsoft) says:

    Hi zzz, you can select multiple images in the Photo Gallery and do batch rotates (select a bunch and right click rotate, or click the little rotate icons on the bottom toolbar). You  can also do metadata edits on batch as well.

    For Vista we focused on making touchup awesome for single images, however we are definitely interested in developing amazing batch edit capabilities in future versions so stay tuned 🙂

    Lorrinm

  8. jamie says:

    if i remember correctly – there is no quick way in vistas new photo viewer to click to see original size.  This is an important feature that is in XP – along with fit to page.  Zooming is of no use when you need to see the actual image at its image size to dpi

  9. Lorrin Maughan (Microsoft) says:

    Hi Jamie, if you hover over a picture thumbnail, or if you click "Info" when you have the picture open, you can see the file metadata which includes the size (the one I’m looking at right now is 545kb and 1024×768). Right clicking on the image and selecting "Properties" gives you heaps more info, down to dpi and bit depth. Windows Vista will even support additional metadata that the device writes to the file, such as focal length, exposure time, camera model etc.

    Lorrinm

  10. nomad says:

    Vista – brings clarity, so how was it in Poland ?

    Wroclaw – what a wonderful city (I am Polish 🙂

    Just started reading Vista Team Blog, I am also channel 9’er. Great you guys share some Vista secrets with us.

    Keep up the good work.

    NomaD

  11. PatriotB says:

    Lorrin — Jamie’s comment is not about seeing what the dimensions are, it’s about viewing the actual image at its regular size.

    I hope that there is a way to easily do this, like there is in XP’s Picture & Fax viewer.  Remember that not all images are photographs — for things such as screenshots and diagrams, a quick way to see the "real size" is crucial.

  12. Lorrin Maughan (Microsoft) says:

    Hi Jamie and PatriotB – my apologies, I didn’t tell you that we are definitely still working on having the ability to view the image at its regular size in the Photo Gallery for Windows Vista – in addition to all the other cool features that are already in the build 🙂 I believe this will be an easy toggle and when it’s in the builds I’ll update the blog.

    Lorrinm

  13. rdas7 says:

    Have you guys even taken a look at iPhoto or iMovie? How is this  stuff even close?

    "we are definitely still working on having the ability to view the image at its regular size in the Photo Gallery for Windows Vista"

    Let me get this straight: you’re working on viewing images with no scaling. Now? I think Apple are already on like version 6 of their programs and you’re still in beta?

    Get with the times, guys…

  14. Bret Kuhns says:

    @rdas7:

    Better late than never…

    Not to mention the current photo viewer featured in Windows XP already includes the functionality to view images at their original size, so I assume the new photo viewer is a fresh build and, being beta, they haven’t worked in the suttelties yet.

  15. Yann says:

    Hi Lorrinm,

    Thanks for you blog, very nice work.

    4 things I would love to see in the photo viewer.

    I am not a beta tester and these things fonctionalities might be in there already but anyway, here they are:

    – Can you generate a web page from your picture gallery?

    including of course multiple setups and a thumbnail gallery a bit like Picassa?

    – Is it possible to convert a picture sequence or a whole folder into another format?

    – Can you change the color of the background in the thumbnail mode? have it other than the white?, some pictures look better against grey or black…

    – When you inport pictures, can you create a folder for the imported pics?, also can you just select the pictures on the card that are new and have never been imported?

    Thank you.

    Yann

  16. cc says:

    Does WPG support RAW and DNG files?

  17. John B says:

    How sad. Mahjongg and chess, both freely available all over the web for windows, are considered wonderful reasons for using Vista.

    *wry grin* Sorry, that’s pretty pathetic. Oh, that’s right – you folks don’t believe in open source, do you?

    Sincerely,

    John

  18. Mauro Liistro says:

    Hi Microsoft people…. But are you able to make something new? It’s terrible similar to iPhoto! And all vista to MacOs10.4 w the same feat. ctrl-c ctrl-v

  19. v3rlon says:

    Are you able to batch re-size?  It would be nice tobe able to quickly shrink a group of 3k*2K images into something suitable for email–

    Or maybe even have some kind of auto-feature that would do that….

    i.e. you could designate limits to a folder  (say 800*600, .jpg 100% quality), and all images in said folder would be converted to those limits without altering the original.

    This would not only be useful for emailing a few dozen vacation photos, but I could see applications for web development and 3D texturing….depending on how well it was done.

  20. Chance says:

    Here come the Mac guys. Or shall I say…The anything-but-microsoft guys. What a joke these loosers are. Give them time. They will continue to tweak this thing and make it better. Do you not think that MAC hasn’t copied MS before. Because if you think they haven’t then you are simply pathetic.

  21. adel4 says:

    Windows Vista

  22. machead says:

    Yeah, but _really_ these are all features that Apple had in their iLife suite for _years_ now. I just don’t think it’s so much to *brag* about…

  23. Andrew says:

    Awwww!  Give these poor Windows people a break eh?  Of course they’re excited, they’ve never seen things like this before.

    Wow, I mean, image tagging and chess!  and apparently Windows Vista is now "super stable and functional" and coming out………………… in about a years time.

    So, get used to it folks, another year of Microsoft people getting "very exited" about their "super stable" operating system that is how many yeas behind schedule now?

    Anyway, it’s not like me to comment on these sort of bogs, so I’ll just get back to th wonders of Suse Linux and my 3d compiz desktop  🙂

  24. MARIE says:

    Gosh, guys stop knocking Microsoft around, at least they are trying to make things better. At least they are taking a step in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong, but there is no point in making gun of them.

  25. Allen Prunty says:

    I have just installed the beta of vista on my system… one look of it and I wiped XP Media Center 2005 out of existance on my computer.   I am now ALL Vista ALL of the time too.

    I am a former OSX / Mac user… I can honestly say that the beta is nothing like OSX… and the Photo Gallery, while still lacking some features, is more intuitive than iPhoto.  I have had nothing but good results from it and that’s after uploading over 3,500 photos.

    My only complaint is we should be able to catalog photos on a network drive.  I have a Linksys Network Access File storage point with two large USB drives attached.  

    Vista has recognized them and it would be most wonderful to be able to point the Gallery library to one of those drives.

    The photo editing is excellent as well.  I am a semi-professional photographer by trade and think that it’s going to take off.

    I know that Beta does not equal complete.  I hope that microsoft takes the time to do this one to full completion.  What they have now is very well done… I will not be using Picasa or Adobe photo gallery from this point forward.

    Lorrin… I am jealous of your photos… I don’t ever get to travel like that.  Well done and feel free to share more.

    Allen

  26. Matija Matus says:

    I have installed Vindows Vista Beta 2 and I have a big problem, can anyone help me. The problem is in configurating (sorry for bad english) wireless card-RALINK 2500, i have installed driver from windows vista update and it works ok, i try to connect to wireless network that is in my town it connect and it’ disconnect, and it stays connect for few minutes and then again disconnect. The other problem is in the "route" in dos! i have to write route an when i did, example: " route -p add 10.0.0.0 mask 255.0.0.0  10.7.6.1"

    It writes me a message:"The operation requires an elevation"???????—>What does that mean????I have to write this route because i cannot connect to AP! Please tell me what do i do??is this an error in Vista thet is not yet ready to do or what??

  27. cool_chris_1990 says:

    hey I got a question. How come the Windows Photo gallery is named that way? I meen it holds videos also. I remember in the post beta 1 stage it was called Windows Digital Gallery. what was the reasonfor the name change?

  28. Sidebar Geek says:

    The name changed back to Photo Gallery because its primary focus and feature set is about managing your photos in Windows.

    Having your videos there is a plus.

    Windows Media Player also allows you to view your videos and photos as well.

  29. cool_chris_1990 says:

    oh ok. thanks. that clears up some info. Rather get it from the source, then from some one like Paul Throutt <ewww>