Microsoft's lab cooks up photo collage program

Microsoft's AutoCollage 2008 uses facial recognition and blending technologies to create photo collages.

Microsoft has released a simple, stand-alone program from its U.K. research lab that assembles photos into a collage.

AutoCollage 2008 is the fruit of work done in facial recognition and blending technologies, said Alisson Sol, the development manager for the project. The program, released Thursday, picks representative images while avoiding repetitive features, matching images so they seamlessly flow into one another. The photo can be resized, then printed.

Microsoft has dabbled in photo software a bit before. Previous releases includes the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer with XP, which has only rudimentary tools, such as rotating and saving photos in a different file format. The Vista OS has the Windows Photo Gallery Viewer, which lets users crop and adjust the contrast of photos, among other basic features.

Many people are already manually doing their own collages with photo manipulation programs, Sol said. Microsoft's interest was to make that process simpler and faster. There's demand for an automated program, he said.

But perhaps what is most interesting is how Microsoft is choosing to distribute AutoCollage. Rather than wrapping the feature into one of its Web-based Windows Live services, the company has opted to sell an application that has to be installed on a PC.

A Web service is "technically possible," Sol said. But Microsoft thinks that users with a low-bandwidth capacity could run into problem when uploading high numbers of large photos, and that would deter some people from using the program.

AutoCollage costs US$19.95 or US$35.43. The program is available for download worldwide, but only in English. Sol said Microsoft will gauge whether it should be localized for other languages depending on interest.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags autocollage

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?