windows live photo gallery.jpgMicrosoft has done a fantastic job with Windows Live Photo Gallery, and it’s definitely become my favorite way to manage photos. There’s been no mention as to when the next version of Windows Live Photo Gallery will be coming out, but one thing that you can look forward to is facial recognition.

News of this comes from a Chinese site (LiveSide has translated it) that had the pleasure of interviewing a Windows Live manager. Apparently once Windows Live Photo Gallery recognizes the faces it will be able to add tags to each photo indicating who is in it. The tags, however, will only be viewable in Photo Gallery.

I’m extremely anxious to see just how well this works. Ironically enough I just got done going through all 7,000 of my photos a few weeks ago and tagged every single family member that was in them. In total it took me about 8 hours to do (broken up over a few days), but it was well worth it. This feature would have obviously saved me a lot of time… assuming that it works fairly well.

Some of the first things that I’ll be trying when the Beta comes out is whether it can recognize your face when it’s been obscured or cut off in a photo. For example, what if the person isn’t looking directly at the camera… would it still be able to recognize the person when only part of their face is visible? I’m a bit skeptical about its accuracy in situations like those, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!