I have had the same problem as you, too many photo editing software programs that I don't use, and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of!
I have used microsofts digital imaging [older versions]
and was not impressed! I'm told version 10 is the best they have ever done, so I wouldn't count them out! I have Roxio easy media creator with photosuite on it, and I'm told it's a good alternative to the agreed #1 application adobe photoshop, however it's not the easiest interface to use or figure out unless you really know your stuff, and I don't! I've also used numerous others not even worth mentioning, but my favorite, [ironically] is a free program that I downloaded off googles website called picassa. I'm so impressed with this program, its easy to use, easy to understand, it gives you all the options that the expensive programs give you, [along with some original ideas that the pay programs don't even have] and it's free! How can you beat that? I'd highly reccomend you try this program, I don't think you'll be sorry, but if you are you can easily uninstall it, and be done with it! I'd love to know if you or others feel the same way I do about this program. It may not be enough for someone whose life revolves around photography, but I have yet to hear anybody say that this is anything other than "one of the best free programs out there" and that picassa is [for the average photo taker
a terrific program that does most everthing that the expensive programs you buy in pc stores does.