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Your photographs may well be all over Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and on Twitter. But Microsoft still wants to be the center of your digital world, as it shows off an improved app for Windows 8 that will help manage all those snaps and images. 

A Pretty Picture

Using the power of Metro, Microsoft's phone application for Windows 8, which was first demonstrated in the consumer preview, makes showing off your photos a pleasure, wherever they are. The Windows 8 team has put up a blog post showing off updates to the app and its features. While it won't threaten Picasa, Gimp or whatever your choice of photo editing software is, it could help you keep a better eye on the digital sprawl of your photo collection. 

By connecting your Microsoft Account (which used to be your Live account) to those social networks, you can link all your photos together within Windows. To gather photos that are stored on your other PCs, Microsoft is encouraging the use of SkyDrive which will act as a central resource. From there, you can create themed collections, storylines, slideshows and browse your collection at your leisure. 

On Any Screen

Those slideshows can be broadcast to TVs or other devices that are "Play To" compatible. You can pick photos to email to friends or post them to a social site. What seems to be missing, according to the comments, is support for network drives, the ability to exclude certain folders (I'd love to keep my work screenshots distinct). 

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But, Microsoft is still working on the app, so hopefully those features will be addressed and a more rounded app will appear in the final version. Professional photo and content apps won't feel threatened by this feature, but you wonder how many new users won't bother downloading Picasa now that Windows is doing a better job of picture management.