Microsoft: Windows is better for photos than a Mac, hands down

On the Windows Team Blog, Microsoft has decided to post an inside look into the new Windows Live Essentials and what users can expect. Scheduled for beta release in the coming months, the updated suite will bring a boat-load of new features. Among the touted apps is the new versions of Live Photo Gallery. According to CNet, Microsoft's very own Brian Hall went as far as saying that the new Photo Gallery is "better for photos than a Mac, hands down."

Neowin has previously posted a look into the new Windows Live Essentials Photo Gallery. However, further analysis of the new program is essential, as Hill's claim is a bold one. For a long time now, Apple's iPhoto has been the king of photo management. It allows you to organize photos, improve them, create slideshows, share them online, and much more. It even allows you to view your photos on a map using geotagging. This is, of course, assuming your camera has GPS capabilities (like on smartphones).

Microsoft highlights the following capabilities of its new Windows Live Photo Gallery:

  • Auto Adjust - one click that fine-tunes exposure, color balance, angle, and sharpness
  • Retouch - remove blemishes, or even entire people
  • Batch Editing - do same action to a number of photos at once
  • Photo Fuse -  use similar photos to create a perfect picture (eyes closed example)
  • Sharing - the ability to publish your photos directly to social media sites, online storage locations, and send via email or chat
  • Sync - the ability to have all of your files on the go, as well as synched across all of your PCs
  • Slide Shows - in a few clicks, create and share slide shows with transitions and visual effects

While Microsoft is definitely pushing many welcome and needed features, saying that it's better for photos than a Mac's iPhoto experience is hard to agree with. While Mac users are sure to jump at Hill's comment as being nothing short of asinine, Microsoft's improvements are definitely nothing to scoff at. Updates, like the ones for Photo Gallery, show a true commitment to improving the media experience of the Windows platform. Innovation is nice to see anywhere users can get it. 

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I have privacy issue with posting any kind of info online. Photo is ok as long as its appropriate. But still your photo can be downloaded and used for any purpose. So consider that next time you post a photo online.

roblife said,
I have privacy issue with posting any kind of info online. Photo is ok as long as its appropriate. But still your photo can be downloaded and used for any purpose. So consider that next time you post a photo online.

Unless your uploading pictures of your self doing illegal stuff I doubt anyone is going to care what you upload online

Its impossible for any company to say that their product is "better" than another product. Thats like saying my painting is better than yours. I have virtual box and almost every reputable up to date OS installed on my computer. And I use my server to host all my photos, code snippits, database related materials...etc.

So basically every OS on my main PC can access my server and use their corresponding software(s) to view/interact with the material. Between Windows and MAC O/S, theyre both visually pleasing, and with the millions of enhancements available for free over the internet, its impossible for me to say one is better than the other.

Software is always changing and as many have said in the past, anything is possible with software. So in my opinion, both O/S are great for photo's.

Something my professor talked to me about once, he told me there is no such thing as the best programing language, as some would say it is C++. Depending on the situation you are in you use the programming language you love to use, but there are many ways to do something. Some have its ups and downs, but the great thing is that most reputable software these days have really good add-on support, and since most softwares allow you to add more material to it, you can (with enough understand) tweak your programs so that they behave exactly how you want them to.

You had me right up until you made a reference to your professor arguing that C++ might be the language to some. Who is this single individual of whom you speak? Otherwise, good take.

-DanNY- said,
Its impossible for any company to say that their product is "better" than another product. Thats like saying my painting is better than yours. I have virtual box and almost every reputable up to date OS installed on my computer. And I use my server to host all my photos, code snippits, database related materials...etc.

So basically every OS on my main PC can access my server and use their corresponding software(s) to view/interact with the material. Between Windows and MAC O/S, theyre both visually pleasing, and with the millions of enhancements available for free over the internet, its impossible for me to say one is better than the other.

Software is always changing and as many have said in the past, anything is possible with software. So in my opinion, both O/S are great for photo's.

Something my professor talked to me about once, he told me there is no such thing as the best programing language, as some would say it is C++. Depending on the situation you are in you use the programming language you love to use, but there are many ways to do something. Some have its ups and downs, but the great thing is that most reputable software these days have really good add-on support, and since most softwares allow you to add more material to it, you can (with enough understand) tweak your programs so that they behave exactly how you want them to.

Exactly. One person might think that something is better than something else, and another person might see it the other way around. Saying something is better than something else is an opinion, not a fact. Brian Hall can say that Photo Gallery is better with photos than Mac, but it's all in the eye of the beholder. Simply because one person made an opinion deosn't mean everyone else needs to agree with it.

For the record, I have not tried iPhoto. I enjoy using Photo Gallery on Windows though, and use it for basic editing. I've also used Picasa, and I believe boeth are good products.

I don't think I can agree even though I am a windows user. Ive tried out iphoto on the macs we have at school and it to me feels a lot like adobe lightroom in some respects as far as its photo retouching. Windows Live Photo is great for the basics and especially novice computer users

gamestargrinder said,
I don't think I can agree even though I am a windows user. Ive tried out iphoto on the macs we have at school and it to me feels a lot like adobe lightroom in some respects as far as its photo retouching. Windows Live Photo is great for the basics and especially novice computer users

did you use the new beta, which this article (and ms) are refering to?


Microsoft's very own Brian Hall went as far as saying that the new Photo Gallery is "better for photos than a Mac, hands down."

And what was he going to say? "Microsoft's Photo Gallery is a cheap copy of iPhoto"? or "Microsoft Essentials Live is full of spyware"?

dugbug said,

did you use the new beta, which this article (and ms) are refering to?

yes been using it for a couple of weeks now, its a great program don't get me wrong. its great for novice users, but iphoto feels more professional to me like lightroom.

gamestargrinder said,

yes been using it for a couple of weeks now, its a great program don't get me wrong. its great for novice users, but iphoto feels more professional to me like lightroom.


iPhoto cannot even come close to Lightroom. Please.

LOL, please don't talk about how Windows is better on photos than Mac at the same time you discuss Windows Live Photo Gallery. Haha.

njn007 said,
iLife '09 comes with your Mac!
Your '09 Mac.

njn007 said,
MobileMe isn't needed and might be free in the future!
It's not free now though, is it?

well, it is clear to all of us, this statement came from a person's opinion not like from an official press release from Microsoft. They KNOW what their software lacks otherwise they wouldn't even mention Garage Band http://windowslivepreview.com/essentials/compare/ ... would they?

if you think and believe you software of choice is the best .. hey, believe what you wanna believe

You've got to love the "It's definitely not better than [insert professional grade graphics program here]!" statements. Did everyone suddenly forget what this product is supposed to do and who its targeted for?

Solid Knight said,
You've got to love the "It's definitely not better than [insert professional grade graphics program here]!" statements. Did everyone suddenly forget what this product is supposed to do and who its targeted for?

And you forget that amateurs use Photoshop since they pirate it. Welcome to The Real World.

lol@microsoft... stop being full of yourselves, windows is not nessasarily better than mac or anything else.if your trying to say that your better is full of lies and fud.

soldier1st said,
lol@microsoft... stop being full of yourselves, windows is not nessasarily better than mac or anything else.if your trying to say that your better is full of lies and fud.

Well you know when IE8 first came out, they said IE8 was better than any other browser and more html compliant and what not. Which was full of FUD. Inept people will believe anything Microsoft says. If Microsoft says they will never have a virus on their Windows OS anymore. People will chew it up and swallow it.

ZekeComa said,

Well you know when IE8 first came out, they said IE8 was better than any other browser and more html compliant and what not. Which was full of FUD.

It was more HTML compliant then previous IE , but I think you mean marketing BS and not FUD. As for the virus statement people chew up stuff like that all the time including Apple users. Some people will believe anything. Including that Coke is better then Pepsi or Pepsi is better then Coke.

ZekeComa said,

Well you know when IE8 first came out, they said IE8 was better than any other browser and more html compliant and what not. Which was full of FUD. Inept people will believe anything Microsoft says. If Microsoft says they will never have a virus on their Windows OS anymore. People will chew it up and swallow it.


at the time of IE8's release, it was actually better then FF, chrome (beta), safari and especially opera.
For me IE8 still loads pages same speed or often faster (especially if you revisit websites) then chrome, the only drawback is opening new tabs, as they are entirely seperate processes, instead of processes within a process as with chrome, i really hope MS patches this up in IE9.

Oh and IE8 won the virus/exploit fights with FF and safari so far, as chrome is still way to small in market share, its not beeing targetted anyways.

IE is still over 50% and thus democraticly speaking the 'standard', so life with it!

Oh and MS is one of the major companies pushing HTML5 and setting standards, and they have the market share to do it. But hey, ppl just wanna bitch at IE because its from 'microsoft', never realising that without microsoft, we'd still be on the crappy 90s terminal based or basic GUI based OS's, without proper WWW, online gaming or pretty much everything else..

but keep bashing MS!!! please go back to the old MacOS in the 90's or do all your work in a linux terminal.... ~.~

Microsoft's dumbed down programs are better than Apple's dumb programs...... probably true, but you can be sure nearly everyone here who has a strong opinion on the matter doesn't use either.

Sometimes i wonder what they smoke over at Microsoft? I'm gonna try to get a job there, maybe its something good.

I guess the thing that irritates me with this statement is he said that Windows is better for photos than a Mac. To me I would think that is implying that the operating system handles the files differently and better. As for software, it's not like Photoshop and other editing programs are OS exclusive (not looking at iPhoto and Aperture at this moment).

As a user of iPhoto and after trying Windows Photo Gallery, I can say that there is no current comparison. The way that iPhoto runs and the technology it has just can't be compared. Add Aperture into the mix and you've got a professional iPhoto with advanced features in addition to the features of iPhoto.

Tanshin said,
I guess the thing that irritates me with this statement is he said that Windows is better for photos than a Mac. To me I would think that is implying that the operating system handles the files differently and better. As for software, it's not like Photoshop and other editing programs are OS exclusive (not looking at iPhoto and Aperture at this moment).

As a user of iPhoto and after trying Windows Photo Gallery, I can say that there is no current comparison. The way that iPhoto runs and the technology it has just can't be compared. Add Aperture into the mix and you've got a professional iPhoto with advanced features in addition to the features of iPhoto.

Yeah, iPhoto's technology is amazing. Like how it has to copy all your pictures into its own directory, simply genius. Read other people's comments about iPhoto, it isn't the magical unicorn you wish it is.

andrewbares said,

Yeah, iPhoto's technology is amazing. Like how it has to copy all your pictures into its own directory, simply genius. Read other people's comments about iPhoto, it isn't the magical unicorn you wish it is.

You know, when I first tried iPhoto(just purchased a mac a few months ago) I thought to myself the same thing, WTF does this duplicate my pictures. However, once I needed to revert a photo that I had edited when I purchased my machine, I realized how beneficial it was to essentially have a 'backup' of the original source since I had deleted/removed the pictures from my camera

andrewbares said,

Yeah, iPhoto's technology is amazing. Like how it has to copy all your pictures into its own directory, simply genius. Read other people's comments about iPhoto, it isn't the magical unicorn you wish it is.

And think about it, you're going to backup at some point anyways. And besides iPhoto keeping copies of the originals as well as modifications, it has commands to backup your library in the program to various types of media (our you could just copy the library package) and it easily restores the library if needed.

I'm still using my Windows Explorer to view my photos.. somehow I'm still very happy with it
I organize by folders based on events so I know where/what I'm looking for

:: Lyon :: said,
I'm still using my Windows Explorer to view my photos.. somehow I'm still very happy with it
I organize by folders based on events so I know where/what I'm looking for

+1

I dont know why people need software that organizes for them.

C_Guy said,
And in other news, eating a salad is better for your health than eating out of a sugar bag.

Hands down.


Especially if you are a diabetic. . .oh wait. . .I am.

I use ACDSee Pro for my photo managing and Photoshop for editing, but I can say that the current version of Windows Live Photo Gallery is quite good for most things. With this new features, more people will start using it.

With Photogallery I felt ripped off because they touted the "face recognition" feature that did not exist. NOW it exists in this new version. I don't know about the geotagging which would be nice, but the addition of the retouch tools will make at a really nice FREE download. I wish they'd release it already. This 1.5 years between updates in THIS world is ridiculous. And Movie Maker is still without a timeline, moronic decision there.

jimmyfal said,
With Photogallery I felt ripped off because they touted the "face recognition" feature that did not exist. NOW it exists in this new version. I don't know about the geotagging which would be nice, but the addition of the retouch tools will make at a really nice FREE download. I wish they'd release it already. This 1.5 years between updates in THIS world is ridiculous. And Movie Maker is still without a timeline, moronic decision there.
1.5 years between updates is a welcome change to be honest, I'd rather they took their time and release significant updates then rush out updates in quick succession just because people are too impatient to wait. Movie Maker does in fact have a timeline but they chose to not include the time increments on it for some bizarre reason (meaning you can't scale it).

Geotagging is part of this update as well. Please tell me what iPhoto can do that this new version of WLPG cant do??

I own Macs, iPhoto is nice for my grand mother. Dont ever try to do something the app cant do, especially with files. Any tagging you do in iPhoto will transfer to the following other programs...........NOTHING.

rrode74 said,
Geotagging is part of this update as well. Please tell me what iPhoto can do that this new version of WLPG cant do??

I own Macs, iPhoto is nice for my grand mother. Dont ever try to do something the app cant do, especially with files. Any tagging you do in iPhoto will transfer to the following other programs...........NOTHING.

iPhoto and Picasa can export images (batch export too) to various different image formats and resize them while exporting, readjust JPEG compression level etc. Photo Gallery entirely lacks export capabilities.

What? Oh. Sorry, I thought this was listing the features of a five year old release of Irfanview. My mistake.

My vote goes for Adobe Lightroom on Windows systems.

It's simple, yet powerful and certainly a good choice for someone who wants advanced options without all the other tools that PS can provide.

bluefish said,
My vote goes for Adobe Lightroom on Windows systems.

It's simple, yet powerful and certainly a good choice for someone who wants advanced options without all the other tools that PS can provide.


Couldn't agree more, and not only in Windows but Mac also. As a Mac user I cannot remember other using iPhoto except to try it out, and that was the end of my desire to go any further with iPhoto. The combination of Lightroom and Photoshop cannot be beat IMHO regardless of the OS.

bluefish said,
My vote goes for Adobe Lightroom on Windows systems.

It's simple, yet powerful and certainly a good choice for someone who wants advanced options without all the other tools that PS can provide.

$300 compared to Free. Sounds good to me! ha.

andrewbares said,

$300 compared to Free. Sounds good to me! ha.


I would sooner spend the money on an excellent photo enhancement application that is not going to make my work look like I did it on something free. When it comes to doing the job right, the cost makes no difference, only the outcome.

Pam14160 said,

I would sooner spend the money on an excellent photo enhancement application that is not going to make my work look like I did it on something free. When it comes to doing the job right, the cost makes no difference, only the outcome.

if WLE works right for most people, why waste 300 bucks on a license for PS?
i know way better things to do with that 300 bucks

Auzeras said,
Photoshop CS5 all the way!
talk about bringing a bazooka to a knife fight Photoshop CS5 is out of reach for most people and isn't quite in the same league as iPhoto/WLPG/Picasa etc and also Photoshop CS5 is severe overkill for photo management software.

I do miss the XPresizer Powertoy from windows XP, so if they make this app streamlined it would be delightful! if not photoshop FTW, WLPG FTL.

Looks good, i use Photoshop for work but it's overkill for quick photo fun.
Still haven't found any software that beats windows live photo for auto adjust.... it just works well

apple iphoto sucks balls...and im sure this will too...personally if im going to edit an image...I do it on my computer...why...BIGGER SCREEN TO SEE MORE DETAIL...**** editting pics of a small phone screen, your a moron if you even use those!!! Ide rather use a combo of fireworks, photoshop, flash, and swift 3d!

killerbng said,
apple iphoto sucks balls...and im sure this will too...personally if im going to edit an image...I do it on my computer...why...BIGGER SCREEN TO SEE MORE DETAIL...**** editting pics of a small phone screen, your a moron if you even use those!!! Ide rather use a combo of fireworks, photoshop, flash, and swift 3d!

I think you're getting the wrong idea, iPhoto (and this) are not for producing graphics or editing pictures for publication.

killerbng said,
apple iphoto sucks balls...and im sure this will too...personally if im going to edit an image...I do it on my computer...why...BIGGER SCREEN TO SEE MORE DETAIL...**** editting pics of a small phone screen, your a moron if you even use those!!! Ide rather use a combo of fireworks, photoshop, flash, and swift 3d!
you do realize that iPhoto is a Mac app (as in OSX not iPhone)

Rudy said,
you do realize that iPhoto is a Mac app (as in OSX not iPhone)

Looks like he doesn't have a clue. iPhoto is not an iPhone app.

killerbng said,
apple iphoto sucks balls...and im sure this will too...personally if im going to edit an image...I do it on my computer...why...BIGGER SCREEN TO SEE MORE DETAIL...**** editting pics of a small phone screen, your a moron if you even use those!!! Ide rather use a combo of fireworks, photoshop, flash, and swift 3d!

YAY, favorite quote of the day!

killerbng said,
apple iphoto sucks balls...and im sure this will too...personally if im going to edit an image...I do it on my computer...why...BIGGER SCREEN TO SEE MORE DETAIL...**** editting pics of a small phone screen, your a moron if you even use those!!! Ide rather use a combo of fireworks, photoshop, flash, and swift 3d!

This post is full of fail. Fail fail fail. You even included the word moron for us. LOLOLOL

andrewbares said,

Wow, quite neat! Fun to use with a Tablet PC too

Yeah tablet PC because its all Flash. iPad = Fail. This app is amazing and shows the power of flash. I am sure in 4-5 years there will be a HTML5 version. There is also a paid PRO version that you can download, which runs on Adobe Air...on most devices.

Nice bonus is that cloud storage with Windows Live is much more than Picasa, Google doesn't seem to push that for some reason, no ad support probably.

I found Picasa to be better with face recognition and a few adjustments like red eye worked better most of the time. I read that this new Essentials are improving that area which is good. Will give it a go.

Frankenchrist said,
One word: Vapourware. MS pretty much sucks at image software IMO

How is it vaporware? Not only does it exist, Neowin has previewed it, it's in testing and is going to be released soon.

GreyWolf said,

How is it vaporware? Not only does it exist, Neowin has previewed it, it's in testing and is going to be released soon.

And it's an already existing application series, that's getting an update. Frankenchrist pretty much sucks at commenting IMO

Frankenchrist said,
One word: Vapourware. MS pretty much sucks at image software IMO

Funny thing about that comment is that when it goes Beta your argument becomes a "vapor-argument".

chago12 said,

i'm pretty sure that's not it. you are just a ***** IMO

I didn't know the word "vegetable" was being filtered on here.

GreyWolf said,

How is it vaporware? Not only does it exist, Neowin has previewed it, it's in testing and is going to be released soon.

+1

Let them beat the drum, it's good there is some good basic photo software out there for Windows. Personally i think the biggest push against Microsoft's Photo software is Googles Picasa which is available on windows, mac and linux and has a lot of good features.

Again personally i prefer iPhoto, however it's good that there is something solid out there that i can recommend to people with Windows.

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop

Better than a Mac, not better than 3rd party software. Re-read the article.

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop

I have Photoshop (licensed!) and I rarey need to fire it up with the current version of Live Photo Gallery - but the new version seems to add some features I could use.

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop

Are your pictures really that bad ;-)

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop
Yup, I'm lost without Photoshop.

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop

Yeah, hahaha. This one was funny. I'm not sure Aperture 3 on Mac is worse than Windows Live F'ing Photo Gallery either. I bet they compare with something else, but iPhoto '09 is included with new Macs and definitely a worthy competitor. *shrug*

Northgrove said,

Yeah, hahaha. This one was funny. I'm not sure Aperture 3 on Mac is worse than Windows Live F'ing Photo Gallery either. I bet they compare with something else, but iPhoto '09 is included with new Macs and definitely a worthy competitor. *shrug*

I don't know if there is any Apple photo/video editing software that can be beat on Windows.

Aperture can't be beat.
iPhoto is nice for the end-user. Whether it can be beat or not is not for me to decide.
Final Cut Studio can't be beat.

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop

photoshop is better in Windows than in OSX.
For example, some popular plugins are windows exclusive.
The lack of right button (a real button) but OSX in a real disadvantage.
And the worst part is the later obstinateness from part of Apple to kill Matte screen and use instead glassy.

tunafish said,
I somehow don't think thats going to be useful for me lol!
I need Photoshop
I think that everyones missing something here.. Live is not an operating system, it's not even shipped with windows, what this really reads as is "windows has an application written for it which is better than the comparative program distributed with Mac OSX"

I'm not flaming or trolling, but it still makes no sense to say that an operating systems better at something because it runs a program, it'd be like saying osx is better at multi-protocol chat because adium is a better and more stable Instant messaging client than trillium.

And for the record i do think that the live applications are very nice, especially windows live writer, it's very very polished

Does the new version auto-rotate photos according to the EXIF information? If it doesnt, then it'll still be behind most other photo utilities.

kev_gordon said,
Does the new version auto-rotate photos according to the EXIF information? If it doesnt, then it'll still be behind most other photo utilities.

auto rotate sucks on some programs. Thats one area Faststone hasn't quite got it. It rotates pix that don't need rotating.

kev_gordon said,
Does the new version auto-rotate photos according to the EXIF information? If it doesnt, then it'll still be behind most other photo utilities.

The current version rotates based on exif data when you import from a camera, and that is quite awesome. Further, the rotation is lossless.

Tanoru said,
I still wouldn't use Windows Live for photos.

+1

i know it has lots of features, good ones, too, but i simply, for no good reason, don't like it..

Tanoru said,
I still wouldn't use Windows Live for photos.

I did, was just fine for editing photos. But browsing? Faststone Image Viewer really kills that. And always have my trusty PSP 10 I think around.

Tanoru said,
I still wouldn't use Windows Live for photos.

The Desktop program right? It's a very well designed program =/

Tanoru said,
I still wouldn't use Windows Live for photos.

+1. If you have to run Windows, Picassa is by far a better tool. But, iPhoto on the Mac owns this steaming pile.

Tanoru said,
I still wouldn't use Windows Live for photos.

Well try it. I have Photoshop, and then Windows Live Photos.

Guess what? Windows Live Photos does Levels with amazing Photoshop-like results. Same with color corrections and cropping. I rarely run Photoshop for these non-pixel operations.

PatrynXX said,

I did, was just fine for editing photos. But browsing? Faststone Image Viewer really kills that. And always have my trusty PSP 10 I think around.

I do agree with this. Browing photos in Explorer is faster. Maybe I will use the Gallery Mode if I'm OC with Photo Tagging (but I'm not)