New Yahoo Photos: Flickr for the rest of us?

I went to an event at which Yahoo announced that it's launching a beta release of an entirely new version of Yahoo Photos. I haven't had any hands-on time with it yet, but it certainly looks impressive--and like the beta version of Yahoo Mail, it does very desktop-like things in your browser.

The new version is a photo organizer/editor with, among other things:

* Drag-and-drop organization features ajin to those in products like iPhoto or Adobe Photoshop Elements

* Tagging and searching

* "Smart folders" that dynamically organize pictures based on various criteria

* Community features that let you share your photos with friends--or choose not too, for that matter--and add comments to them

* Pretty sophisticated imaging editing features, considering they're operating inside a browser

* Unlimited storage of your pictures at full resolution, and the ability to re-download them at full res--which means that Yahoo Photos could be, at least in theory, your primary photo repository

* Various options for getting your pictures printed

* Full compatibility with IE, Firefox, and Safari

All this feels a bit like a more mainstream version of Yahoo's Flickr, and while it's not Flickr--which will continue on--the Yahoo folks I talked to said they learned from that service's success.

Only a limited number of users will get access to the new Yahoo Photos at first. Yahoo says it plans to completely replace the aging current version of Yahoo Photos with this one sometime this summer. Which is good news given that we first saw the new Yahoo Mail last September and it's still in a closed (albeit easy-to-sneak-into) beta.

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Harry McCracken

PC World
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