Windows Live Photo Gallery Photo Print Ordering Fail
I have this dream. My dream is to be able to set my parents and in-laws up with a photo program that will allow them, from within the application, to order physical prints of the photos they have in their collection with a few clicks. It seems like a small thing, but there's a serious psychological barrier to them opening a Web browser, selecting the images they want to print, uploading them, selecting the print size, and placing the order. Too many steps? Maybe. Intimidated by making a mistake? Perhaps. Regardless of the reason, I'm convinced that if it was done from within an application and streamlined, they'd order more physical prints. Picasa has this function, but they only offer one "choice" of providers: BonusPrint, a truly awful service provider that I don't recommend anyone use.
I was hoping that this new version of Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 would do the trick, but the screen shot above is what I see because I'm in Canada. I've been seeing this "Sorry, we don't care about you as a customer" screen since the first version of Windows Vista in November of 2006. That's damn near four years now, and Microsoft hasn't been able to line up a printing service for Canada? Really? I know we're only a country of 34 million people, but after four years I'd have hoped that someone on the Windows Live Photo Gallery team would have gotten around to arranging a partnership or two.
So, come on Microsoft: either get some partners set up for print ordering, or pull this feature based on geography and hide the button from us so we're not taunted into thinking that this feature actually works.