Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

Official blog for the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience team

June, 2007

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Announcing the Windows Live Photo Gallery, Beta 1


    On 6/27, we launched the first (limited*) beta release of the Windows Live Photo Gallery! Windows Live what??
    The Windows Live Photo Gallery is a new application that will be a free download as part of the Windows Live suite of applications. If you’ve used the Photo Gallery in Windows Vista, this application will be very familiar to you (only better). We’ve been working hard in the months since Vista shipped (has it only been a few months??) to add in some key new features based on your feedback:

    • Windows XP SP2 support: Did I mention that the Live Photo Gallery runs on Windows XP SP2? That was actually a fair amount of work in itself, but we think it was worth it to make these experiences available to a broader set of users than just those who have Windows Vista. Due to differences between the platforms, not all features will work 100% the same on XP SP2 as they do on Vista. For example, slideshow will be better on Vista (if your hardware supports it).
    • Publish to Spaces: We’ve heard from a lot of people that they want to publish their photos online to share with their friends and family members. Windows Live Spaces is a great tool for doing this, and the Windows Live Photo Gallery will make it easy to select a bunch of photos, and publish them directly to your Windows Live Space.
    • Import: We heard loud and clear that people want more control over how they import their photos - which photos get imported, what folders they go in, etc. You asked, we listened.
    • Panoramic Stitching: One of my favorite features from Digital Image Suite was the ability to take a set of overlapping photos and stitch them into one panoramic photo. We’ve brought this feature into the Windows Live Gallery.
    • More Fixes: More granular control over exposure.
    • Simplified Navigation: We’ve removed some of the lesser-used options from the navigation tree, and added some new controls to let you quickly pivot the way you view your photos. 

    That’s a high level view of the changes you’ll see introduced in this beta. We’ll dig into each of these areas over the coming weeks to provide more detail, we just wanted to give you a little taste of what’s coming up. You can read the official announcement here.
    Of course the Photo Gallery isn’t the only feature in the suite (it’s just our favorite – what can I say, we’re biased). When the suite is launched, it will include all sort of things, like Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Toolbar, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live OneCare Family Safety…the list goes on. It’s going to be a lot of fun in Windows Live land over the coming months – stay tuned!

    * The audience for this beta is by invitation-only. If you didn’t get an invite, just remember – patience is a virtue. It will be worth the wait! 

    - Scott Dart (Program Manager)

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Frequently asked questions


    We get a lot of the same questions asked over and over, so we've added a FAQ page with answers to common questions. If you have anything you'd like to see added to this list, just let us know!


    - pixblog

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Create wall-size murals from your images

    Here's a link to an interesting way to display your favorite images.  Dave Banks, a writer for Wired, used some pretty interesting techniques involving Adobe Illustrator to transform a couple of his digital pictures into a wall-sized mural.  I can only guess how much manual manipulation was involved, and the results look great.
    - shawn morrissey, program manager

    Self-described "Geekdad" made custom wallpaper for his son's room with a large format print of a digital photo: He and I love to watch Formula One together, so we decided to use some photos I had taken the last time I attended the U.S. Grand Prix. A little Photoshop work made the image more interesting, but I had a problem. Even using a plugin to blow up the photo, it was only half of the resolution I needed to fill the whole wall.  The solution was found in Illustrator's Live Trace feature. With a little finesse, the photo was transformed into a scalable vector file. I emailed the image to the printer and - a short time later - the wallpaper was installed. The final product had a latex coat for protection from crayons and juice and is expected to last five to seven years. 


  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Soapbox Video

    If you follow this blog, you've probably noticed that we occasionally embed video in blog posts when it helps illustrate the point that we're trying to get across. Whenever possible, we have been using the new Soapbox video service that's currently in beta on MSN.

    As of June 1, Soapbox is now a 'public' beta, meaning that you no longer have to log in to the site to view videos (you still need to log in to upload videos). Congratulations to the Soapbox team on hitting this important milestone! You can read about it in their own words over on their team blog (I'm adding them to our list of links as well).

    I suppose I can't get away with this blog post without showing a video, so here's one demo'ing some of the Photo Tourism research that we blogged about a few months ago.

    Video: Photo Tourism: Exploring Photo Collections in 3D [2006]

    - PIXBlog

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