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Microsoft Max

max, originally uploaded by Alec Saunders.

Microsoft ‘Max’ was demoed at the PDC today, and is available for download. Intended as a preview of the future of Windows applications, this is a gorgeous photo organization / sharing application built on the Windows Presentation Framework (formerly known as Avalon), and Windows Communication Framework (formerly known as Indigo).  It lets you quickly and easily categorize, and then upload photos to a file sharing site to share with others.

Installation is a lengthy process.  Downloading Avalon and Indigo takes time.  For me, the process required a reboot, and then failed on restart.  I had to locate the shortcut on my desktop to continue.

Loading the software is slow.  Once loaded, the beautiful UI is not completely intuitive.  You create "lists" of photos to share with others.  Using your passport, you create an account, and then you can share the photos.

Slide shows are beautiful streamed slide shows, with large full colour images quickly rendered, even from a web site.

What’s not to like?

  • Well, I mentioned the speed. I run a 2 Ghz Athlon processor with 512M of memory, and an ATI Radeon 9200 video card.  Max grinds my PC to a halt.  If this is the future of Windows, then I will be upgrading every PC in my house.
  • Half of my family runs Macintosh.  How do I share photos with them?
  • How do I tag photos?  The feature seems non-existant.
  • Did I mention that it’s slow?

Final analysis:  Not enough meat on the bone.  It’s very pretty, but both Flickr and Picasa are more functional. 

BTW, the above screen shot is shared with Flickr.

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