Microsoft's competitor to Adobe Lightroom gets another champion

What's Microsoft want with Adobe Photoshop guru Mark Hamburg, who recently joined the Redmond juggernaut?

What's Microsoft want with Adobe Photoshop guru Mark Hamburg, who recently joined the Redmond juggernaut?

Hamburg a programmer who has been part of the Adobe Photoshop team since version 2.0 and helped lead the Photoshop Lightroom one, is now a Softie, as News.com's Stephen Shankland reported on April 28.

The official word from Microsoft is Hamburg will be working on unnamed "user experience" efforts. My bet is Hamburg will be instrumental in helping Microsoft bring to market its Photoshop Lightroom competitor, which is codenamed "SmartFlow."

Microsoft has been going head-to-head with Adobe in the tools space with its Expression family of products. At the same time, Microsoft has been putting more and more effort into the photography realm -- especially around its JPEG XR format.

But the Redmondians have said nothing publicly about SmartFlow. Sources told me earlier this year that SmartFlow is meant to be a head-to-head competitor with PhotoShop Lightroom post-production software for professional photographers.

Late last week, Mark Martin (thanks to John Nack for his kind correction) Evening, editor-in-chief of Lightroom-News.com, posted to that site:

"I don’t think one can downplay the significance of Mark’s departure because the contribution he made to the development of Photoshop and Lightroom has certainly been enormous and it goes without saying that his presence will be missed at Adobe.

"On the other hand, with Lightroom 2.0 now at public beta much of the groundwork on Lightroom has already been accomplished (especially on the non-destructive image processing side) and he leaves at a time where the Lightroom team has expanded from a team of one (Mark) to now include over fifty talented individuals who have all successfully guided Lightroom from concept to finished product."

Anyone hearing anything on when SmartFlow might come to market?