I see that Google has announced that it’s pulling the plug on its Picasa product; both the online service and the Windows application.
Frankly, I could care less about the online service, but I’m sorry to see that Google will no longer be supporting or developing the Picasa application for Windows. For a while, it was pretty good, supporting photo metadata standards more than many products on the market. Yes, there were issues with it, and bugfixes seemed to take forever to come through (if at all), but for many folks it was good enough.
I suppose we now know why those fixes were slow in coming, it seems obvious in hindsight that Google has had Picasa on the back burner for a while now. I note that the last major release was version 3.9, back in December 2011.
The nearest free equivalent to Picasa that I’ve seen is Microsoft’s Windows Photo Gallery, but I suspect that Picasa users jumping ship to that product will merely be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The last major update to Photo Gallery was in 2012, and since then there has been deathly silence. I think that Microsoft has probably got Photo Gallery on the life-support machine, and their hands are hovering very close to the “off” switch.