Along with updated betas for Windows Live Messenger 8.5, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Live Writer – users can now install and test the second beta of Windows Live Photo Gallery. Back in June, Microsoft announced Windows Live Photo Gallery as the successor to Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista with a closed beta program. Starting today – anyone can now choose to install and try out Windows Live Photo Gallery.
This new release of Windows Live Photo Gallery offers some impressive enhancements over the previous beta as well as the existing Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista.
First off, users get improved color adjustment and cropping capabilities for fixing their photos. These enhancements allow users to easily make changes to their photos before sharing them. You can now adjust the detail of your image by sharpening your image up or change the levels of shadow and highlights in the image’s exposure. Under “Adjust exposure” users now have a Histogram of their photos. This will help in adjusting the right levels for making your images look the best.
A new feature has been added to Windows Live Photo Gallery that will make many users happy (I for one am crazy about this feature). Users can now right-click on an image file to resize that image. You can even select multiple images and resize them together (batch resize was a popular feature request by users).
I do a ton of resizing images and being able to do this right from Windows Live Photo Gallery is a deal thing for me.
With shooting a ton of photos, not all of those photos turn out to be worth anything. So why import them onto the PC? With Windows Photo Gallery I was unable to preview and pick and choose the images I want to import off my camera. With Windows Live Photo Gallery you can with the new Photo and Video Import tool.
The Photo and Import Tool is a lot smarter in Windows Live Photo Gallery. It will list your images by date and allow you to enter names and tags for different photos on different dates.
After importing your images and fixing them all up – Windows Live Photo Gallery lets you publish those photos to your Windows Live Space. This makes it incredibly easier to share photos with friends and family. In importing photos to your Windows Live Space, you can create an entirely new album of photos or add the photos to existing albums already on your Windows Live Space.
You’ll notice that Windows Live Photo Gallery supports the recently announced new optimize feature for your photos when publishing them to Windows Live Spaces. By choosing to “Optimize photos for printing” – your photos will be uploaded to Windows Live Spaces at a higher quality so that you can either print your own photos or order prints of your photos online. Users can also enjoy impressive full screen slide shows from Windows Live Spaces after uploading higher quality images through Windows Live Photo Gallery. Through Windows Live Spaces, you can take advantage of their new partnership with HP Snapfish (U.S. only currently – with more markets expected to come online later). Click here to read a bit from Windows Live Spaces Product Manager Chris Keating on Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Spaces.
Users are not only able to publish photos to Windows Live Spaces, but also videos to Soapbox on MSN Video.
Another on my favorite new features is the ability to create a panoramic photo. You can take a series of photos and stitch them together to create a panoramic photo. Here is a panoramic photo of the parking lot at my apartment complex (I stitched 8 photos together to create it):
If you love Windows Photo Gallery – you’re definitely going to love Windows Live Photo Gallery. .
Keep your eyes on the Microsoft Photography and Video Blog. Matter a fact, Program Manager Scott Dart has posted pointing people to where they can download Windows Live Photo Gallery. Expect to hear more from Scott and his team very soon.
In testing out the latest Windows Live Photo Gallery release, be sure to submit feedback using feedback.live.com. This is the best place to submit bugs you may found.