Google Pulls the Plug on Picasa

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.

As for me, I shall carry on quite happily using Idimager’s Photo Supreme to do my metadata management, and Adobe Lightroom for digital development and retouching.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
This entry was posted in Computers and Internet, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Google Pulls the Plug on Picasa

  1. Ludwig says:

    Wonder what they plan for NIK. Microsoft allowed Live Writer to go free, maybe Photo Gallery will see that as its future.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Maybe, but only if there’s a group of volunteers willing to take on the task of maintaining the open source. WLW had such a group, including folks who are Microsoft employees. I don’t know what the situation is for WPG.

      • Ludwig says:

        Microsoft Research is quite interested in photography. They updated Image Composite Editor. They seem to be using OneDrive to assist in the development of image recognition technology. See their tagging scheme. Having the users assist in teaching their system is clever. They let the algorithm assign tags, if they miss the user removes the tag – wonderful, automatic feedback. They need to keep the users happy. Throwing us a Photo Gallery update would be a nice bone. OK, I said they are clever, but are they that smart?

        • Geoff Coupe says:

          I don’t think MR would pick up WPG unless they could demonstrate a commitment to including a stream of new experimental research in it. And even then, frankly, having to support and maintain the rest of WPG would probably be seen (rightly) by Microsoft Management as “not their core business”…

      • José says:

        Opening the WPG source like Windows Live Writer would be great but Microsoft has the Windows 10 Photo App also. Windows 10 Photo App has been touted as a universal app for curating photos, but with Windows Phone small market share, I am not convinced unless an iOS and Android version is also released. Also, comprared to WPG Windows 10 Photo App is also missing a lot of features.

  2. José says:

    Geoff: I value your reviews and insights into photo management apps. I am giving digikam a try (just in case WPG kicks the bucket), do you have any thoughts on this app? I am going to try again Photo Supreme, have not done so in a while.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      José, I haven’t tried Digikam, I just took a quick look at their site and the documentation. It strikes me as a typical Open Software product, built by a group of enthusiasts, building something that meets their needs. It looks powerful, but not necessarily easy to use. I note that metadata management is done by means of a plug-in. I’ll be sticking with Photo Supreme, which continues to meet my needs very well.

  3. Harald says:

    Hi Geoff, do you use Lightroom’s facetagging features? Would you know if Lightroom supports Picasa’s facetag schema/standard?

    Harald Wikerøy

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