My transfer from Windows XP to Vista has been good. I like Vista much better than XP. It’s easier to use, I like the organization of the directories, and it has many useful tools that I no longer need 3rd party packages for.
As a genealogist and a guy who carries his digital camera wherever he goes, picture management and editing is very important for me. Previously on XP, I had tried Corel Photo Album, Google Picasa and even Adobe PhotoShop Elements to try to organize photos. Elements had the best organization tools, but it was a monster of a program with a horrible interface that I hated to use.
Vista includes its own picture organization capabilities and I like them. You can create and add tags and rate your photos and search them simply and efficiently within Explorer. Best of all, it stores the tags and your comments right in the EXIF in the pictures, and that is very important - so the data stays with the picture. I will next try downloading the free Windows Live Photo Gallery that apparently adds face recognition, which is something I consider important for genealogists. I’ll try it out. Eventually I expect to add capabilities in Behold to access this information stored in these pictures and display the pictures with this information and probably allow editing of the information as well. With Window Photo Gallery as the “companion” this will probably work very well.
Then there’s the matter of editing photos - to rotate them, resize or crop them, get rid of red-eye, and other simple fixups. On XP I had a host of different programs and never could settle on any one. PaintShop Pro wasn’t bad, but PhotoShop Elements was just too much of a gorilla for me.
For now, I’m hoping that Windows Live Photo Gallery will again do most of what I need. If the free Microsoft tools prove to be sufficient, I can recommend them to Behold users and add Behold capabilities to work with them. This would be possible, whereas getting Behold to work with a dozen different applications would not.
Meanwhile, if you don’t like the Microsoft tools, the other programs I ran across that are not bad and are free that you might want to try are: For photo/image management and organization: (1) XnView (2) Faststone Image Viewer. For photo editing: (1) Paint.NET and (2) GIMP.