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PC Reviews: Microsoft Digital Image Suite Version 9

It doesn't seem to matter how good digital photography gets, we just want to polish up already pristine memories some more. As a result a lot of products flood the market and are not always what we are after.

Digital Image Suite is in it's ninth incarnation from Microsoft and I can say with confidence that this is some pretty sweet editing software, having had the chance to give it a good run through alongside a number of other editing suites. There are so many options to go through with this package that I would have to say that it is without a doubt the most premium hands on software for all levels of proficiency that I have EVER used.

It's always important to quantify comments like that and here is where I will explain: Digital Image Suite has everything, and most features are at the top of their game. We need to remember that I am not holding this product up again Paint Shop Pro or Photo Shop. The focus of the software here is on looking after photos and the importance of protecting your images. If it was merely image editing I was doing then I would still be using the other packages I just mentioned. In fact, I do use Paint Shop Pro extensively, however when it comes to my photos, then this package has me covered.

Why? Digital Image Suite is clever and takes a lot of the guesswork out of the situation for users. Have you ever lost pictures that were only stored on your hard drive? With DIS archiving wizard, this won't happen again. Simply set the wizard to archive and it will step you through the whole process.

Special effects are also a specialty on this program and they are so easy to use that users will be creating and editing their own masterpieces in absolutely no time at all.

First things first though. As with all Microsoft products, installation was a breeze. If you have installed any recent software from Microsoft then you will be fine with this product. There is nothing convoluted about the setup process and with a matter of minutes the program should be installed and up and running. Now there must be our first word of warning about this product; it takes a hell of a lot of room for a complete install, in fact about 400mb which is room that the average user is going to begrudge with the average hard drive now being about 40gb. You can customise the install, however if you are like me, you want the whole program there so you don't have to mess about with CDs too often.

For those of you using Windows XP, this software should be a breeze due to the simple fact that there is a good chance that you have already used XP's photo and printing wizards and are aware of their simplicity and ease of use. DIS incorporates this into it's shell through the Digital Image Library section.

Another interesting operation now available is the ability to turn your photos into a video that can be then played on most conventional DVD players. This is in the Photo Story Lite section of the software that is only included with Digital Image Suite and not Photo Standard which we will also be covering for you on the site.

The interface on this software will also be of comfort to users both new and old with Microsoft making an effort to streamline the process of learning new programs by making the general appearance to resemble that of Internet Explorer or even Windows Explorer. Menus can be navigated from the left hand side and the main working window is to the right.

The software is pretty processor intensive, why I really couldn't work out, so make sure that your machine is on the higher end of the requirements (Pentium 700mhz processor, 256mb ram). Those on the edge of just having the requirements are going to experience some slow up in using this application which is a bit rough even when the images are not big.

In summary: If you are wanting editing software that will pretty much do anything and everything that most average users could ever possibly want, then this is the one for you. It's interface is second to none and the learning curve virtually non existent. For those who have a lower end PC, I would recommend looking for something else, or even upgrading to take advantage of the positives of this product.

- Tory Favro

The Final Say!


Microsoft Digital Image Suite Version 9
 reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Score: 8.9/10 
Distributor: Microsoft

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