While Mac users have been able to try out a beta of Adobe's Lightroom photography software for the last six months, Windows users have had to watch from the sidelines. This has changed today as Adobe has released a Windows version of the beta.

Lightroom, like Apple's Aperture, is an environment for quickly managing and processing groups of photographs, using the workflow of a professional photographer as its starting point.

Lightroom combines features and technologies from a number of the applications within the Creative Suite. The majority comes from Photoshop’s Camera Raw plug-in and the Adobe Bridge asset manager, though other parts have their heritage in the InDesign and GoLive layout packages.

The application is split into four ‘rooms’: Library, Develop, Slideshow and Print – charting the workflow from organization of images to processing to output as final prints or contact sheets (printed or online) for a client to chose from.

Over 120 RAW file formats are supported by Lightroom, including those from recent releases including Canon's EOS-30D, Epson's R-D1s, Olympus's E-330, Leaf's Aptus 65 and Aptus 75 camera backs.

Lightroom beta 1.0 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2. The recommended minimum specs are a Pentium 4 processor with 768MB of RAM. It can downloaded from the Adobe Labs

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