Picasa, like iPhoto for Windows

Apple should hurry up and come-up with a windows version of its IPhoto software. Why? Because Google’s Picasa software for manipulating photos is pretty nifty. The new release, version 2, has taken a lot of visual cues from Apple’s iPhoto and has made it available for free for anyone, well with a Windows machine.Visual cues is my polite way of saying – boy they look awfully familiar. I am not much of a photographer, though I have a nasty habit of clicking photos all the time with one of Nokias – 6620 or 6630 – or more recently the Sony Ericsson s710. I just like to manage these cigarette-case sized photos and on my Powerbook 12, iPhoto does a bang up job. Just on a lark, I decided to download the photos I have to AMD 64-bit chip powered Acer Ferrari laptop. (Now that’s one scream machine!)

Since I did not have any photo editing software on the laptop, Picasa 2, made a lot of sense. It let me edit, manipulate and transfer photos basically with the same ease as iPhoto. Believe me, I was as shocked as you are. Picasa is pretty cool because it very tightly integrates with Blogger, the blogging tool by Google. (If only they could add comments and trackbacks to Blogger!) and can help me publish photo libraries. (This feature underwhelms me because they publish stuff on Hello.com, and not on Google owned servers, which is a bummer, since if I am going to put something on a server, either I want to own the space or be assured that someone like Google is behind it!) In addition, one can get prints from one of the many commercial photo printing services. Want to share photos via email, well you can do with GMail. Okay these G-Men are everywhere and that scares me.

I think Apple should try and port its iPhoto software to windows and make money via its photo-printing service. It will do well, because I think Picasa is about 20% off iPhoto in terms of ease of use. I think this is not such good news for folks like Flickr, because the way Picasa is going, and Google’s intentions of owning the “user generated content related business opportunities” it would not surprise me to find more Flickr type features being rolled out by the G-Zilla! Also I find Flickr a wee bit confounding, and so do some of my non-techie friends.