June 27, 2006 11:24 AM PDT

Microsoft buys photo management tool maker

Microsoft has acquired iView Multimedia, the founder of the British photo cataloging software company said on its Web site.

"With Microsoft's purchase of iView, we are in a position to enhance our industry-leading product, whilst strengthening our customer service and support," iView Multimedia founder Yan Calotychos said in an open letter to customers.

The information on iView's site did not include any terms of the deal. Microsoft said in a statement that it bought iView "because of its great product offerings that deliver unparalleled digital asset management and cataloging solutions for customers."

"It's too early to comment on how and when iView's products will be incorporated into our product line," Microsoft said.

The London-based company's software, iView Media and iView Media Pro, is used for managing digital photos and other electronic art.

NPD analyst Chris Swenson said the deal should help Microsoft broaden its new Expression line of graphics and Web design tools by giving it a tool that is popular among photographers and other graphic artists.

"Because digital photography and digital asset management is such a key aspect of Web design, I think it was a necessary strategic move that Microsoft had to make, given their investment in the Expression line," Swenson said in an e-mail interview.

Swenson said it should also help Microsoft compete better against Adobe Systems in the market for digital workflow software. Adobe is testing a product called Lightroom that can be used for managing photo jobs.

"Together with the solutions in the current Expression product line (Expression Web Designer, Expression Interactive Designer, and Expression Graphic Designer), I think Microsoft will have a very competitive suite of products to offer Web designers and other creative professionals going forward," Swenson said.

iView's Calotychos said the company's software will continue to be available for Macs and PCs.

"The product that was born on the Mac will remain on the Mac as well as on the Windows operating system," Calotychos said. "All iView products will continue to be sold on the iView Web site and through our partners and channel. Bottom line: You all can continue to use and buy iView products knowing that they will be fully supported as Microsoft evolves the products in the future on both the Windows and Mac platforms."

According to iView's Web site, Calotychos started the company in 1999 with his wife, Victoria.

See more CNET content tagged:
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5 comments

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Apples, Oranges + the bad seed...
Apple prduces Aperture as a pro-app for RAW photographers as a workflow management tool.

Then Adobe quickly throws together a beta program called Lightroom just before the 2006 Macworld Convention in January, as a direct "catch-up & compete with Apple" move.

Now Citizen Gates decides to buy out a British company's app "iView Multimedia" to compete with Adobe according to the C/NET article to bolster their up & comming (???) Expressions Graphic Designer series as a direct " catch-up & compete with Apple & Adobe" move with its' future (?) AstalaVista 2007/2008/???? OS.

Way to go Microsoft, always late to the party & then becomes the big party pooper.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Reality
Apple is worse. They were late to the multitasking party and bought/borrowed someone elses. Even now to get hibernation working on new desktop Macs you need the latest OS and an un-supported hack. Furthermore, how much of the iPod was designed by Apple? Not much.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Reality
Apple is worse. They were late to the multitasking party and bought/borrowed someone elses. Even now to get hibernation working on new desktop Macs you need the latest OS and an un-supported hack. Furthermore, how much of the iPod was designed by Apple? Not much.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Do we still need to be worried about iView/Mac support?
I love this product for managing stock photos for my web sites
since it doesn't lock me into the iPhoto DB (iphoto is great but iview
is better suited for managing LARGE amounts of photos).

I hope that MSFT keeps its promise (as it always does) and keeps
this great product on the Mac.
Posted by BoardJIVE (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bungie? IE? VPC?
Ummm. MS has *such* a great reputation for these.

How much is Portfolio? Is that Binary yet?

Man, the Extensis guys & gals have to be just cheering right now.

iView. I'll miss you.
Posted by jeph4e (23 comments )
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