Windows Live Photo Gallery from the Windows Live Essentials suite is getting some upgrades in the upcoming “Release Candidate” release too. Besides the many bug fixes (including the wlcomm.exe crash and 100% CPU usage bug), we also found out from Brian Hall’s interview that Windows Live Sync (FolderShare) will come installed along with Windows Live Photo Gallery to sync your photo albums across multiple PCs, as long as you sign in with the same Windows Live ID on more than one computer:
Perhaps more good news for Microsoft’s Windows Live push is that HP had recently signed up to include Windows Live Photo Gallery with all installs of HP’s Photosmart and Deskjet series printers. Here’s an except from their press release:
HP, the worldwide leader in printing solutions, will distribute Windows Live Photo Gallery with its consumer printers, including Photosmart and Deskjet lines, starting next year. The combined offer provides HP customers with Windows Live Photo Gallery, an end-to-end photo management and printing solution.
“Beginning in 2009, HP will feature Windows Live Photo Gallery and HP Creative Print Projects across the HP Photosmart and HP Deskjet consumer printing portfolios,” said Sam Greenblatt, general manager of Core Technologies, Imaging and Printing Group, at HP. “We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to provide an enhanced user experience for our customers. This offering will allow users to print, share, organize and edit a wide array of creative print projects at home, such as photo books, collages, cards and calendars.”
Comparing the interfaces between the current beta version with the upcoming new “RC” version, we’ve also noticed some minor enhancements that makes publishing to Windows Live Photos much easier. Notice how instead of “publish to Spaces”, you’re now able publish your photos directly to the new albums in Windows Live Groups and Events too! The new support for publishing metadata to your online albums also means that People tags will be synced across Photo Gallery and Windows Live Photos.
With a whole set of new partners signed up with Microsoft on Wednesday, we’re bound to see many more services (such as Photobucket) taking advantage of the new Publishing API to make photo sharing for us even more easier.