After months of speculation, Microsoft has now confirmed that Photodraw has been discontinued. There’s no obvious replacement. Photodraw was perfect for quick work with photos and clip art. Nothing on the market comes close for ease of use or breadth of features. We can keep using Photodraw – it’s not broken, and it works fine after upgrading to Office XP – but this announcement means that there will be no new release to deal with Photodraw’s shortcomings. And more importantly, it means that creating files in Photodraw’s proprietary .MIX format is a dead end. .MIX is supported by Picture It, but that program doesn’t have the features to replace Photodraw.

Inexorably the graphics market leads back to Adobe Photoshop. Adobe’s new program Photoshop Elements is cheap and powerful, and it uses Adobe’s standard file formats. Back to the learning curve!