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June 13, 2005

Was it something Adobe said?

First, Microsoft announces Metro, the alleged “PDF Killer.” Now, we have Acrylic, which is supposed to take on Photoshop and possibly Illustrator.

Early reaction is not too positive:

Softpedia news

[T]he list of unpleasant surprises continued: difficult menus placed in the strangest locations, the absence of the preview option for functions like Brightness and Contrast or for filters and so on. I think the developers wanted to copy functions from Adobe Phostoshop and Illustrator, and maintain in the same time the impression of originality. Unfortunately, they’ve failed.

[Forest] Key, [a group product manager in Microsoft’s developer division] maintained that Acrylic still could be used by professionals. “The vast majority of users rasterize their files and then incorporate them into other applications,” he said. He added that Microsoft “has had some pro-level graphics tools in the past.” He pointed to PhotoDraw and tentatively added Microsoft Paint to the list.

Paint. Oh, definitely. Adobe is quaking in their boots at that one.


Although the software has only been available for a short time, some testers have already complained via Acrylic’s public forums about what they see as the poor quality of the release.

“This preview just shows me an unpolished, poorly laid out graphics editor that acts more like a glorified (Microsoft) Paint, rather than any type of competition to Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro,” wrote one user.

Final recommendation: Stay as far away from Acrylic as you can. It needs so much development work done, it shouldn’t be out of Alpha testing. If this is anywhere close to the final product they are planning to release, then Microsoft should be prepared to eat another few million in lost development funds. There’s no reason you should have to eat it too.

Never write off Microsoft, but this one isn’t looking too good.