Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

Official blog for the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience team

September, 2008

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Photo Gallery beta cheat sheet


    We’ve packed a lot into the new beta version of Windows Live Photo Gallery.  At the same time we’ve heard users ask, “What’s new in Photo Gallery?”. Here’s a quick clip-and-save list of the top features to check out.  In the coming weeks we’ll be going into more detail about everything on this list. Stay tuned.

    An updated look.  Photo Gallery has a new user interface design that puts the emphasis on you and your content.   We’ve minimized the amount of space that controls take up in order to give more space and focus to your photos and videos. Want even more room? Collapse the navigation tree (hint: pane on the left) and close the info pane (hint: pane on the right) for a wall-to-wall view of your collection:  


    Just the right amount of Info.  Try out the new Info pane (hint: click the Info button to turn on or off) for a quick look at the people and descriptive tags you’ve assigned to your photos.  Based on popular requests, we’ve also bubbled up more metadata about your photos and videos. Plus, you can dial in how much metadata you want to see by dragging the divider up and down. You control what you want to see.

    People tags!  Photo Gallery automatically detects faces in your photos to make it easy to tag.  And with our people tagging user interface you can quickly choose folks from your Messenger and Mail contact lists. Open up a photo and click “Add people tags” to get started.  And to appeal to the narcissist is all of us, there’s a single click “That’s Me” link to identify yourself in photos.

    Keep in touch.  Browse your photos by person using the People navigation area. When you’re browsing by person, click on someone’s name and look at the new people banner (hint: along the top) to see the latest photos they have shared online at Windows Live, and download the ones you like – right from within Photo Gallery.


    Make your photos look great.  Photo Gallery provides the tools you need to get it right and add a personal touch, with little effort. For example, if you’re like me, all your photos come out a little crooked.  Just click on Straighten photo, and Photo Gallery will automatically straighten it, or use the slider to tweak it yourself to add a neat effect.  While we all love color, the new Black and White effects will give an artistic touch to your photos.


    Publish wherever you want.  We think that Photo Gallery is so good that users will want you to use it every time to share your photos, no matter what online service you use.  Our new SDK will let developers create plug-ins for users that, when installed, will appear right on the Publish menu.  Check out the current list of available plug-ins.

    From photos to movies.  Now going from your pictures to a published video on the web is just a couple of clicks away. Choose photos and video clips from your collection, and click Make a Movie to put together a great looking movie.

    Limit the information about each file when you share.  The new Publish options let you control what file metadata is included when you share your photos online.

    Support for Photosynth, Image Composite Editor, and other Extras.  There’s always room for more!  The new Extras menu is the place to look for apps and services that extend the Photo Gallery experience.   Photosynth is the first experience that’s integrated – just install it to start making your own synths from Photo Gallery.  Want creative control over the image stitching process? Try out the brand new Image Composite Editor. Both of these new programs are just a click away on the Photo Gallery’s Extras menu when installed.

    And there are a few more gems hidden in there as well.  I hope you’ll give us a spin – and tell us what you think!

    -- Rodger Benson (Lead Program Manager)

  • Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

    Next version of Windows Live


    In just a short while brand new beta versions of Windows Live Photo Gallery and the completely brand new Windows Live Movie Maker will be available for free at!  In addition to Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, this beta release includes significant updates to all of the Windows Live software applications for your Windows PC, including Messenger, Mail, Writer, Toolbar and Family Safety.  You’ll find sweet new features across the products. If you want to hear more about what we’re delivering across Windows Live, check out this blog post from Chris Jones.

    Here are some of cool things you can do with the new beta version of Photo Gallery:

    • People tagging: Photo Gallery automatically finds the people in your photos so you can add a name to the face. Then later, all you need to do is type in someone’s name to see all the photos of that person.
    • Photos from friends: See new photos from the people you know as soon as they post them online. Their new shots come to you automatically in Photo Gallery.
    • Photo editing: Adjust exposure, color, or detail by hand, or use auto adjust—either way, your photos look great. You can even create amazing panoramas—Photo Gallery automatically stitches them together for you.
    • More support for 3rd parties!  We’ve heard tons of requests for more publishing options, so this release includes a new Publishing API that enables the community to build plug-ins for virtually any sharing service.  A new resource for developers will be at

    And here’s what you’ll find in the Movie Maker beta:

    • Seamless movie creation: Import and edit your movies so they look great, and then publish to the web—all in just a few clicks.
    • All new user interface: Movie Maker has been redesigned to help you combine photos, video clips, and music into movies you’ll be proud of.
    • Posting your movie to the web: It's easy to publish your finished masterpieces to most major video-sharing sites. So there’s no excuse to keep your work to yourself.

    This list really only scratches the surface.  We’ll definitely be blogging a lot more in the coming days and weeks about Photo Gallery and Movie Maker.  Stay tuned!

    --Digital Memories team


    You can get translations of this blog in several languages by copying this web address into the Windows Live Translator service.

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