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Adobe unveils online Photoshop Express public beta  
Thursday, March 27, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
Adobe has launched a free public beta of its online photo editing, display and storage service, Photoshop Express. The service, which is aimed squarely at consumers, features 2GB of storage, basic slideshow and sharing capabilities plus the ability to edit the tone, colour and more in photos right in your browser, all in a minimalist interface that's reminiscent of Photoshop Lightroom.

photoshop_express.jpg
Online Adventure: Photoshop Express public beta in action

Photoshop Express is a stunning example of how far web browser-based applications have come, but in its current form it isn't likely to have much of a role in the workflow of serious hobbyists or working photographers. Also note that the terms of use include a broad rights-and-usage clause for photos you upload and make available in "publicly accessible areas" of the Photoshop Express service:

8. Use of Your Content.

  1. Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

  2. “Publicly accessible” areas of the Services are those areas of the Adobe network of properties that are intended by Adobe to be available to the general public. However, publicly accessible areas of the Services do not include Services intended for private communication or areas off the Adobe network of properties such as portions of World Wide Web sites that are accessible via hypertext or other links but are not hosted or served by Adobe.

In a blog post late today, Adobe's John Nack indicates that in light of concerns expressed about the above clause, the terms of use will be revised.

(Thanks to Dirk Hohndel for bringing this element of the terms of use to our attention.)

Establishing a member account is free, and while membership is currently intended for U.S. residents only, we were able to join from Canada (a press release warns of slower performance when the site is accessed from outside the U.S., however). It's also possible to Test Drive the service without joining.

More information is in the press release below.

Press Release

Adobe Launches Photoshop Express Public Beta
Free Online Software Brings Photoshop Technology to Anyone Taking Digital Photos

SAN JOSE, Calif. - March 27, 2008 - Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe Photoshop Express public beta, a free Rich Internet Application (RIA) available to anyone who wants to store, sort and show off digital photos with eye-catching effects. During the public beta period, Adobe will solicit Photoshop Express user feedback on product features and functionality, which will continue to evolve over time. As the newest addition to the Photoshop family line, Photoshop Express has taken much of Adobe's best image editing technology and made it simple and accessible to a new online audience. Photoshop Express allows users to store up to 2 gigabytes of images online for free, make edits to their photos, and share them online in creative ways, including downloading and uploading photos from popular social networking sites like Facebook.

"Photoshop is trusted technology that has changed the visual landscape of our world. Now, Photoshop Express allows anyone who snaps a digital photo to easily achieve the high-impact results for which Adobe is known," said Doug Mack, vice president of Consumer and Hosted Solutions at Adobe. "Photoshop Express is a convenient, single destination where you can store, edit and share photos whether you're at home, school or on the road."

Simple, Fun and Accessible

With Photoshop Express, digital photos can be uploaded and sorted anytime, edited non-destructively to always preserve the original image, and shared from anywhere, on any Web browser. In a few easy clicks, Photoshop Express empowers anyone to make standard edits, such as removing blemishes and red-eye, converting to black and white, cropping and resizing, and much more.

No experience is required to add special effects that will impress friends and family. In keeping with its one-click approach, Photoshop Express offers tricks like Pop Color which selects an object in an image, mutes the background color of the photo and allows the user to swap the object's color so it jumps off the page. Sketch effects help photos look like drawings and the Distort feature allows you to distort facial features or objects within the images for a comical or artistic effect. Even users with limited photo editing knowledge can simply select what looks best from a line-up of sample photos with visual hints showing different variations of the added effect.

Photoshop Express offers a variety of creative sharing options, including uploading and showing off photos and slideshows in your own online "Gallery" hosted by Adobe, or conveniently embedding or linking photos to social networking sites and personal blogs without having to leave the application. Slideshows never looked better with animation that makes photos float and fly across the screen, allowing for viewer interactivity and unique presentation styles.

Adobe Photoshop Family

Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended are at the heart of the Photoshop family, joined by solutions for users at every level who want to bring out the best in their digital images. Photoshop Lightroom addresses the workflow needs of professional and serious amateur photographers. Photoshop Elements provides exciting tools and sharing options for photo hobbyists.

Photoshop Express is the latest step Adobe is taking to leverage the advanced technology that underpins its award-winning creative products and deliver it to new online communities. In early 2007, Adobe also announced the availability of Adobe Premiere Express, an online video editing and mash-up tool on partner sites such as MTV and Photobucket. Adobe Premiere Express leverages the functionality found in Premiere Elements, a fully-featured desktop video editing program.

Free and Available Now

Adobe Photoshop Express beta is available now for free via any Web browser at http://www.photoshop.com/express. Photoshop Express was created with Flex, Adobe's free, open source framework for building RIAs. Flex applications provide a consistent, rich user experience across operating systems and all major browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and others. An Internet connection and an up-to-date Flash Player 9 are all that are required to experience Adobe Photoshop Express. In its early phases, Photoshop Express is available to US residents-only in English. Users may experience slow performance if accessed outside of the US. Future plans include availability in other languages and countries.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

### (c) 2008 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Flex and Flash are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Revision History
March 27, 2008: Added information about Photoshop Express terms of use.

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