Microsoft offers beta of Adobe rival

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Microsoft offers beta of Adobe rival

Post by Sara » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:22 am

Microsoft has released a test version of a new professional graphics tool code-named Acrylic.
The software is based on Expression, the graphics application Microsoft acquired with its 2003 purchase of Hong Kong company Creature House, the software giant said on its Web site.

Microsoft describes the software--currently available as a 77MB free download--as bringing together pixel-based painting and vector graphics features. These capabilities will put the product squarely in the market currently dominated by software maker Adobe Systems with its pixel-focused Photoshop and vector-driven Illustrator products.

Acrylic appears to support opening and exporting to Photoshop and Illustrator file formats, as well as other standard graphics formats. In addition, the application appears to be able to export to Adobe's Portable Document Format, or PDF.

However, Microsoft noted Acrylic would not currently save pixel-type data to formats other than its native XPR file type.

Although a Macintosh version of Expression was available before the Microsoft purchase, the software giant said the test version of Acryclic cannot be used with the Apple Computer platform.

The test software, or beta, also has a limited life; it will expire Oct. 1.

Microsoft has recommended relatively high system specifications for Acrylic, saying consumers should preferably run the software on an Intel Pentium 4 machine, with Windows XP Service Pack 2, 512MB of memory, 500MB of disk space and a pressure-sensitive graphics tablet supporting the WinTab interface.

The company listed some known issues with the beta software, saying performance was slow. "Optimization work is currently in progress, and drastically improved performance will be delivered in the final release," according to Microsoft.

Although the software has only been available for a short time, some testers have already complained via Acrylic's public forums about what they see as the poor quality of the release.

"This preview just shows me an unpolished, poorly laid out graphics editor that acts more like a glorified (Microsoft) Paint, rather than any type of competition to Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro," wrote one user.

A Microsoft representative was not available to comment on Acrylic's final release date or a retail price.

The Acrylic beta comes shortly after Microsoft announced Metro, a format meant to compete with Adobe's PDF.

Renai LeMay of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

By Renai LeMay

This story was printed from ZDNet News,
located at
I'm downloading it now.

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Post by Sergei » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:51 am

Did the download finish yet, Sara? :D

I'm actually very interested in an app that can combine pixel and vector graphics - if it does it well. I'll download it myself when I'm back in broadband range.

Mind you, I think Microsoft already have a good lower-end rival in the form of Paint.Net. (It's not actually a Microsoft product, but freeware designed with their encouragement.) It's simple but nice to use.
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Re: Microsoft offers beta of Adobe rival

Post by blitzmaster » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:14 am

yes is slim and lightweight! alternative over photoshop cs2/cs3

Paint.NET 3.07 Beta

* Note: For the beta, the new features are only in English. The translations will be complete for the final release.
* New: Line/Curve tool has been enhanced to allow drawing arrowheads, and to draw with various dashed- and dotted- styles.
* New: Image tab thumbnails now have an indicator if the respective image has unsaved changes (an orange asterisk is shown).
* Improved: The Save Configuration dialog (choose JPEG quality, etc.) now allows you to maximize it. It also remembers its relative location and size.
* Changed: The help file / documentation is now hosted online. This has reduced the download size by more than 3 MB, and will also allow us to provide translations without ballooning the size of the download (each language would have added between 2 and 4MB).
* Changed: The "image list button" (downward triangle) is also shown when only 1 image is open (it used to only display if 2 or more images were open). This is being done for the sake of consistency.
* Fixed: Some operations would reset the selected layer to the first/lowest layer. This selection is now preserved.
* Fixed: Several problems have been fixed within our implementation surrounding the new Vista Open/Save dialogs. This includes: opening an image from an http:// source, opening images from a digital camera that is not mapped to a file system path (such as a drive letter), the Save dialog not always prompting you about overwriting an existing file, and many corner cases that previously caused crashes.

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