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MS snaps into image editing

Microsoft is to take on Adobe with the release of its first image-editing software package next month.

Called Picture It, the product will have tools for shading, crooping, reversing and adding effects to images. The consumer-focused feature set and pricing - in the US it will cost $79.95 - will take it head to head with Adobe's PhotoDeluxe and Micrografx's Picture Publisher.

Picture It will be among the first packages to support FlashPix, a new image format that is claimed to render very fast without losing resolution depth. The standard was developed by Hewlett-Packard, Eastman Kodak and John Sculley's photography software startup Live Picture.