Mike Isaac

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Aviary Brings Photo-Editing Tools to Windows 8 Developers

aviaryWindows8Aviary, the Web-based photo-editing software company, debuted its software development kit for Windows 8 developers on Monday, making the company’s photo-editing suite of tools available to those creating apps for the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system.

It’s pretty significant for Microsoft (and definitely a big deal for Aviary), but you’ll have to indulge me in a bit of nerding out to hear why.

In a nutshell, a new platform is only as good as the apps that populate it. And right now, Windows 8 is starting from scratch, with Microsoft courting the thousands of developers out there creating programs for other tried-and-true platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. So to convince developers to build apps for yet another platform like Windows 8 isn’t an easy sale.

But Aviary’s SDK release may make it just a little less difficult. Instead of developers building photo-editing software from scratch into their applications, picking up Aviary’s tool kit allows developers to quickly integrate and deploy a host of photo-centric tools into their apps, cutting out some of the heavy lifting and freeing up resources to do other things.

So, in theory, the less time it takes a developer to write a Windows 8 app, the more likely they are to do it. That’s a win for Microsoft (if enough developers do it, that is), and it’s certainly a win for Aviary — if the company can coax said coders into using its tool kits.

A number of larger companies already swear by Aviary’s wares — Twitter, Flickr and Photobucket, to name a few — instituting the company’s software in mainstream, consumer-facing applications. That’s a pretty ringing endorsement for Aviary to use in its sales pitch.

Aviary’s Windows 8 SDK will launch with six partners to get things going. Now all Microsoft has to do is hope that the increased set of tools encourages developers to create more apps for the platform.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald