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Microsoft Bows New Imaging Software

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of its Digital Image Suite, adding new features for improved video editing and organizing.

Digital Image Suite 2006 will offer a number of new organizing features that work with both still photos and video, including hierarchical keywords and hover thumbnail, which enlarges thumbnail images on screen whenever the mouse is over them.

The new version also adds support for Canon and Nikon RAW image files to cater to the growing market of d-SLR users saving images in the uncompressed file format. Image Suite also offers new black-and-white effects and an “intuitive crop” that analyzes the composition of a photo when a consumer clicks on the crop task and suggests a way to crop the photo that will properly frame the subject.

A new sharing disc feature allows users to burn photo CDs without altering photo archive settings while a new device sync feature lets users move photos and videos between mobile devices and the PC automatically.

Image Suite 2006 will also bundle a new version of the company’s Photo Story software. Version 3.1 lets users create photo slideshows with voice narration, customizable pans and zooms and music. The new version offers the ability to make quick edits such as red-eye removal and burn a CD with VCD files for viewing photos through a DVD player.

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 is shipping now for a suggested retail of $99.95. There will be a $30 mail-in rebate open to all consumers and an additional $10 rebate if consumers have purchased any brand digital camera within 30 days of purchasing the program. A standard edition of Image Suite will ship for a suggested $49.95.