Microsoft Switches Paint To Acrylic
By David Utter
The Redmond-based software and game console company now wants to kick Photoshop off your computer.
When Microsoft bought Creative House and its Expression graphic design product in 2003, it seemed like an odd fit. In businesses that have creative staffers like graphic artists, they are frequently the only Macintosh users in a business. Microsoft and its ubiquitous Office suite were for people doing real work, like creating reports and attending meetings.
But the company has been quietly bringing the vector-based illustration and graphic tool along, recently releasing an updated beta version. They don't call it "beta," though. That's not very creative. It's a "community technology preview." And it still doesn't have a final release date. Mac support? Nope, doesn't have that either; Acrylic runs strictly on Windows XP SP 2.
The latest CTP, as those in the know like to call it, weighs in at around 81MB for the download, and is valid through December 2005. Once it's on the desktop, users will find Acrylic combines pixel-based painting with the vector-based editing that Microsoft found compelling enough to buy the company outright.
Acrylic has a connection to the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system. Interface and content designers can work with application developers to build new products that take advantage of the "Avalon" presentation classes in Vista. Acrylic designers can export their designs in XAML format, which is the user interface definition language Vista interprets for displaying graphics.
About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.
For more information about the product, please check here: Microsoft Acrylic August 2005 CTP
Geez... It does seems like Microsoft is creeping EVERYWHERE right now. Scary thought...