By “fringe” I don’t mean like photos of ghosts and strange matter, but on the non-traditional aspects of it — everything but the basic photographic image, basically. Microsoft is conspicuous for its absence in the field of photo editing and organization; it has no presence in the Aperture/Lightroom pro RAW management field. But if you ask them, they’re not even trying. They’re focusing on the other stuff — different ways of viewing images like Photosynth and Seadragon, or working on the backend stuff like metadata.
Metadata sounds kind of boring, but considering how much metadata can be packed into a color-corrected, cropped, commented RAW image file with EXIF, you might want some way of keeping track of all that across systems. Microsoft called up the heads of the five families (Adobe, Apple, Canon, Nikon, and Sony) to talk about standardizing all those stars, dials, exposure tweaks, and so on. I swear this is the stuff Microsoft needs to be pushing to improve its image — say, “Look, we’re really big but we’re just trying to make everything easier on the end user.”