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Microsoft writes a tutorial on Adobe Photoshop

launched a preview version of an illustration and graphic design tool codenamed Acrylic, and is offering it as a free download.

It is quite evident that Microsoft Acrylic is aimed at grabbing the market share from Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator (Adobe CS2) and even Freehand that Adobe picked up when it acquired Macromedia. The move follows last month's announcement of Microsoft Metro, a tool that threatens to compete with Adobe's Acrobat and PDF format.

Microsoft Acrylic is able to both open and export to Adobe's Photoshop PSD and Acrobat PDF formats, so it is clear that Microsoft intends to offer Acrylic as an alternative to Photoshop, likely at a lower cost. But what surprised me the most was this tutorial on Microsoft website - Actions automate repetitive Photoshop tasks. Here Microsoft explains in detail how to automate repetitive tasks through batch processes on a large number of images.

Why would a company write a tutorial on their main website about a competing product? Is Microsoft internally using Photoshop for all their designs ? This is a very recent tutorial though there is no mention of anywhere ? Looks like a copyright violation too.

Or does Microsoft plan to offer Acrylic for free as they did with Microsoft Photostory. Adobe is definitely not worried at the moment. Adobe's Creative Suite 2, a bundle of its top design and publishing applications, showed strong sales in its first quarter of release and will likely gain momentum in the coming months as international versions ship, Smith Barney analyst Tom Berquist said in a research note.