Windows Live Photo Gallery collects a simple set of tools for downloading, editing, and sharing photos. Its functional design and excellent capabilities make it one of the most user-friendly photo programs we've ever tested.
The program's interface was clearly designed by Microsoft and felt instantly comfortable, with the familiar feel of Windows. All the commands and functions were logically organized, and the program was pleasing to use, though the Help file's vague instructions for panoramic photos were a disappointment. Nevertheless, we uploaded some photos from our digital camera with a single button click and were quickly able to choose a shot to edit. Windows Live Photo Gallery offers basic editorial tools that seem likely to delight novices and frustrate photo experts. The program quickly cropped our selected image and minimally adjusted its color, but not much more. We were able to publish our photos online or even burn a CD within the program's interface, a surprising but pleasant addition. One disappointment was the Panoramic Photo feature. We were curious about creating panoramic photos, but apparently you can't select it as a function, and the Help file offers little in the way of useful advice. Beyond that misstep, Windows Live Photo Gallery is a smooth and likeable entry-level photo management system. This is a photo program anyone can use.
Windows Live Photo Gallery is a free utility from Microsoft. While it hit a snag with its panorama option, the overall program was smooth sailing, and we recommend it.