Microsoft acquires iView

Started Jun 27, 2006 | Discussions
Reinhard Regular Member • Posts: 310
Microsoft acquires iView

The buyout continues...

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-7895-8436

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--Reinhard

rgolub
rgolub Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Hrrumph!

I'm going to get my camera and go outside. Must be a bad moon rising or something. The first thing I see on DPR is how Adobe picked up Raw Shooter Pro.

Now Microsoft and Iview (can't read the details, the link may have been slashdotted or sometihng but I can guess).

Next stop - Microsoft buys Adobe (or perhaps the other way around). Film at 11.

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Mike Tedesco Regular Member • Posts: 368
Please Note It's Business As Usual for iView

Reinhard wrote:

The buyout continues...

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-7895-8436

Please note the following quotes from iView:

The first is from Yan's letter on iView's site:

'The product that was born on the Mac will remain on the Mac as well as on the Windows operating system. All iView products will continue to be sold on the iView website and through our partners and channel. Bottom line: You all can continue to use and buy iView products knowing that they will be fully supported as Microsoft evolves the products in the future on both the Windows and Mac platforms.'

Next one is from Shayne Bowman on Rob Galbraith's site:

'And, says Shayne Bowman, iView Chief User Experience Architect and iVangelist, in the short term it will be business as usual: iView will retain its name, the product line will not be altered, support options will not change, the web site - including its online forums - will remain live and the current roster of applications will be available for upgrades and new purchases through the same methods as before.'

Feel free to ping me with questions.

Thanks,

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Mike Tedesco
Technical Evangelist - Pro Photo Community
Microsoft Corporation
http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto
This posting is provided 'AS IS' with no warranties, and confers no rights

Thom Hogan
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,661
Re: Please Note It's Business As Usual for iView

Mike Tedesco wrote:

The two key statements you cite that need further defining are:

as Microsoft evolves the products in the future

and

in the short term it will be business as usual

The implication underlying those two remarks--one from Microsoft, one from iView--is that the product will be evolved and modified only by Microsoft going forward.

Since you've taken the liberty to try to state a politically neutral version of Microsoft's position, let me state the current digital camera users position explicity:

  • iView has been heading steadily upstream in terms of capabilities and sophistication. The fear is that Microsoft acquired this to be part of their own iLife competitor, and may refocus the application because of that. In other words, if iView is intended to compete with iPhoto, we can expect one set of goals out of Microsoft's acquisition.

  • Another lessor fear is that the Aperture/Lightroom initiatives grow out of underlying photo databases that have photographer-centric workflows applied on top; it could be that Microsoft wants to play in that game, which means that iView would become a very different application in the future (perhaps better for it, but fear comes from the sense of unknown, not the possibility for better).

  • Or, Microsoft could simply be acquiring the product to push it forward as a standalone application.

Each of those three options (and I'm sure there are more) have implications for someone with a terrabyte photo database built with iView. The exact fear for some is not which of the three options I outlined Microsoft that might choose, but the potential for an awful lot of organizational and cataloging work having to be redone (or exported, or tweaked, or whatever). Your statements do nothing to reduce that fear.

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Thom Hogan

former Evangelist for a Microsoft competitor (in the interest of full disclosure)
http://www.bythom.com

rgolub
rgolub Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Re: Please Note It's Business As Usual for iView

Mike Tedesco wrote:

'And, says Shayne Bowman, iView Chief User Experience Architect and
iVangelist, in the short term it will be business as usual:

Emphasis on short term. While I appreciate your input and feedback as well as your contributions on the forum, the company you work for has a less than stellar track record for assimilated products.

To be fair (this isn't slashdot, after all), MOST larger software companies that buyup small startup companies do a poor job. Symantec and Computer Associates come to mind as poster children for failing to support or even market their acquisitions in any sort of sensible fashion. A product that had a small but loyal following and a small but knowledgeable support / maintenence / upgrade staff gets swallowed into a larger company - the staff gets absorbed / fired / promoted, the customers wander away or just get annoyed or both. Presumeably there is some financial advantage to doing this, else it wouldn't be so prevalent, but as an end user for a number of such companies, I don't see much in the way of utility.

A question to you, Mike - what are the longer term advantages of this sort of thing? Incorporation of Iview's technology into Vista2 or whatever? Improvement in Iview's code?

If it's the former, then thanks but no thanks. Operating systems - especially Windows - are bloated insecure monsters because thier software designers have lost sight of the importance of differentiating the OS from and application. I shouldn't have to upgrade to an entirely new OS for a "feature" that's essentially application level code. Stuffing IPTC metadata awareness into the OS may allow another application to see it, but at the cost of overhead for the entire OS and lack of flexibility when the next best thing comes along. All modern operating systems allow for data to be transferred to an fro amongst application level programs - there is little need to drag the application itself into the OS.

If it's the latter, then what does MS bring to the table that is so unique?

If it appears that I'm on a bit of a rant, then you're right - I for one, don't see many "improved" products coming about from this Borg-like behavior. What is MS going to do differently this time?

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Michal Urban Regular Member • Posts: 432
Pro Photo Summit?

I found this by accident, I don't think it was heavily advertised:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/prosummit.mspx

Suddenly we have lots of interest in "Pro Photo" arena - Apple's Aperture, now MS...

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sdmeyers Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Pro Photo Summit?

Of course the interesting thing here is that iView like apps are abundant on the Windows platform, where iView was one of the main alternatives to iPhoto on the Mac. I wonder if this will mean ACD Systems will start taking the Mac seriously? Or more people will start looking at the Mac more seriously. Too be honest, I've been very disappointed with the last couple major releases of iView (haven't upgraded to 3 yet... figured for the money they want to charge me to get a Universal application I'd give Aperture a try (Which BTW I've grown quite fond of).

The truth is this seems like a real boneheaded move on MS's part. They freak out a large number of Windows developers with similar products. They freak out the relatively large Mac user-base of iView, thus encouraging more developers on to develop or enhance their products on the Mac side thus strengthening Apple's foothold in the digital management area.

On a final note, iView on both platforms has benefited tremendously from 3rd party frameworks, especially (ironically) Quicktime. Outside of tying together these frameworks in an above average interface and perhaps some refined cataloguing technology (which admittedly was a chore in the pre OS X era of Apple development) iView doesn't seem to bring a lot to the table. Someone with some nice interface skills could easily create a superior media management app using the newest OS X dev tools and frameworks (Think a refined version of shoebox ( http://www.kavasoft.com/Shoebox/index.php ) without the brain-dead UI).

IMHO This really seems like a lose-lose-lose deal.

sdmeyers Forum Member • Posts: 70
Also...

Something else comes to mind. Perhaps this is really a paranoid move on MS's part, not against Apple, but against Google and Picassa (Which is really a super cool app, that I use on all my PC's and IMO a much nicer experience then iPhoto)

(BTW, I wish there was a way to edit you posts

One other thought, I find it interesting that this come on the heals of MS backtracking on the WinFS which would have in many ways supplanted iViews usefulness... perhaps MS is planning on injecting that sort of cataloguing system into iView (which could be a very cool thing).

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Forum Pro • Posts: 20,587
Aperture/Lightroom

Thom Hogan wrote:

  • Another lessor fear is that the Aperture/Lightroom initiatives

grow out of underlying photo databases that have
photographer-centric workflows applied on top; it could be that
Microsoft wants to play in that game, which means that iView would
become a very different application in the future (perhaps better
for it, but fear comes from the sense of unknown, not the
possibility for better).

That was exactly my first thought when I heard this news, I think Microsoft has come to think it cannot be without a flagship professional photographic application along the lines of Aperture, and iView could certainly be a part of that response...

Or of course it could be that Adobe irked Microsoft greatly with the recent PDF fiasco and Microsoft is going for payback my marginalizing Adobe with a broader range of photographic applications. Revenge is a powerful motive...

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Forum Pro • Posts: 20,587
Advertised in magazines

Michal Urban wrote:

I found this by accident, I don't think it was heavily advertised:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/prosummit.mspx

It's true I didn't see many online ads for this but it was advertised rather heavily in photographic magazines.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Forum Pro • Posts: 20,587
Interesting speculation

sdmeyers wrote:

Something else comes to mind. Perhaps this is really a paranoid
move on MS's part, not against Apple, but against Google and
Picassa (Which is really a super cool app, that I use on all my
PC's and IMO a much nicer experience then iPhoto)

I have not yet used Picassa but that is a really interesting speculation about reasons for the purchase. Would that mean iView would then be free at some point, following Googles lead in making many applications free? Something to ponder...

One other thought, I find it interesting that this come on the
heals of MS backtracking on the WinFS which would have in many ways
supplanted iViews usefulness... perhaps MS is planning on injecting
that sort of cataloguing system into iView (which could be a very
cool thing).

I was kind of wondering if future versions of iView would use an embedded SQLServer of some sort. But would they do that for the Mac version?

It's good to hear from the company than near term Mac support is still planned but without a clear and believable message from Microsoft on this purchase it sure throws a lot of questions up in the air.

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Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,625
Re: Microsoft acquires XMP-within-DNG

Reinhard wrote:

The buyout continues...

[snip]

Now Microsoft have a major product that can read and write XMP metadata within DNG files.
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/dng/xmp_dng.htm

I wonder what they will do with that capability?

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simpy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,140
not DNG again!?

Barry,

How come 99% of your posts have the acronym DNG in them at least once?

If you're not paid by Adobe as an evangelist yet, they should consider doing so. On the other hand, one person pushing DNG too hard can actually have the opposite effect - let's call it the Foveon effect.

Cheers,
Simon

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 22,430
Re: Aperture/Lightroom

Your thoughts mirror my own.

At least this sale makes some sense in my mind. iView fills a major gap in the Microsoft graphics tools line-up.

Its been a while since I've evaluated iView, could it be enhanced to the point that it could compete with Aperture or Lightroom? I think so. Plus think about the kind of end user automation that could be done if the MS Access database engine were integrated into it along with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and could integrate with MS Office.

you would have the foundation of an incredible set of Photo Studio management applications that could handle literally EVERY aspect of that business. This is the kind of Big thinking that MS likes to indulge in.

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a weird prediction. Not so much to predict the future, but to stimulate our thinking along these lines.

Corel has 2 excellent photo editors, but appears to be favoring PaintShop Pro at the moment. PhotoPaint has already integrated VBA as a scripting language. Would it not make sense for MS to buy PP and integrate it into a new MS PhotoStudio Suite?

You know, Microsoft supported Corel for a couple of years with life sustaining infusions of cash until they could find a well heeled buyer. Who knows what Corel had to promise for that cash?

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Some see the cup as half empty, others see the cup as half full. Personally, I see the cup being knocked over.

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JLK Veteran Member • Posts: 4,517
Simon, you clearly have a case of...

Pixel envy...

You want ugly---try running Foveon x3f files through Adobe's DNG converter... yuk!

The iView situation isn't good---I'm happy that I put off upgrading to 3.x

Jim

Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,625
Re: Simon, you clearly have a case of...
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VincentJ Senior Member • Posts: 2,262
There goes my investment.

I bought the 2.x release of iView and was considering upgrading to 3.x. Now with mirco$haft gobbling it up, it's anybody's guess what they're going to do with it 3 months down the line, like maybe integrate its functionality into one of their own applications and kill media-pro completely etc. There goes yet another nice and functional product. Gobbled up by the monopoly.

chris3010 Senior Member • Posts: 2,738
Thank goodness

I've had less and less value out of iView since upgrading to v3.x, as more search features have gone "missing" due to bugs. I have now 120,000+ images split between five catalogs, and can no longer search my metadata. While Microsoft bashing is popular on this forum, I can't imagine iView will be a worse product under MS. I'm looking forward to iView 2007.

Chris

Reinhard wrote:

The buyout continues...

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-7895-8436

JLK Veteran Member • Posts: 4,517
Yeah, but...

My preferred workflow is in Lightzone (after SPP), and the Lightzone/x3f DNG combo is horrible. I'm trying to cut down on software packages---not add to them!

Jim

GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 14,646
Vista anyone?

Microcrap will incorporate the core of iView into Vista so that it becomes a 'feature' of the OS. This they are doing primarily to screw over Adobe.
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