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!