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Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 ( Windows) review: Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 ( Windows)

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 ( Windows)

By the end of a week in Myanmar, we had clicked our way through 1,000 photos and were seriously in need of a photo organizer. Fortunately, we had Microsoft's Digital Image 2006 Suite--a slick application trio designed specifically for sorting, labeling, editing, and sharing digital photos. The three tightly integrated programs in the suite--Digital Image Library (organizer), Digital Image Editor (image editor), and Photo Story 3.1 (simple slide-show creator)--are feature-rich and a snap to master. The intelligently designed interface and ubiquitous help make this program especially appealing to the casual user, but more serious photographers will find a wealth of heavy-duty editing features lurking beneath the friendly desktop.

Microsoft added quite a few new features to the 2006 version, including better organizing and editing tools and camera raw file support. Plus, the full-featured editor gained a black-and-white photo effect for colorizing, plus improved panoramic stitching with better control over the finished product. It may be a little pricey at $99, and it requires a gluttonous 400MB of disk space, but if you have mountains of photos that need organization and don't want to puzzle through jargon-filled manuals, Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 is an excellent investment.