Jerry Nixon on Windows: Microsoft Image Composer v1.5

Jerry Nixon on Windows

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Microsoft Image Composer v1.5

Microsoft, way back in 1997 released MS FrontPage 1998. What a treat that was - I had only been programming for a year or two and just starting to become good with old school HTML. Packaged with that version of FrontPage was Microsoft Image Composer version 1.5 (a minor upgrade from v1). Since, at the time, I had few funds and less graphics knowledge I picked Image Composer up.

I became proficient quickly, learning what sprites were and how to use various effects. It was the mainstay of my graphics foundry.

Microsoft Image Compower v1.5 STILL remains a vital part of my daily, yes daily, toolbox. I keep an old CD of FrontPage 98 around just so I can install it whenever I need it. Image Compower is fast, pwerful, easy and - needless to say - discontinued and not supported. Even still, I love it - I use it and defend it from the scorn of fellow developers who spy for kinks in the the ole Nixon tech armor. It's simply a great program; it almost defends itself.

Image Composer made a short come back with FrontPage 2000, but Microsoft's latest (at the time) entry into the graphics program market (also shipped with Office 2000) was PhotoDraw, an awkward interface with a short life. There are always rumours of new graphics applications from Microsoft (even a Flash competitor like the short lived MS LiquidMotion) and PictureIt is the reigning retail king for MSFT, but none seem to combine the simplicity and complexity of Microsoft Image Composer v1.5 - and did I mention that it is free?

Why are products today so complex that they approach unusable? Must I really be a specialist in a vendors product to be proficient? It just grows old.