For illustration, painting, and graphic design.
Microsoft is now in public beta-test stage with Arcylic, a software it's labeling as a professional illustration, painting, and graphic-design tool. A "development technology preview" based on the former Creature House Expression product (Microsoft acquired the Hong Kong-based Creature House Ltd. in 2003), Acrylic is designed for work in print, on Web, and interactive media.
Minimum system requirements: Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2, 733 Mhz processor, 256 MB of RAM, and 800x600 monitor resolution with 24-bit color. No Macintosh version of the test is available.
Microsoft has not yet announced a date for the formal Acrylic release, nor for pricing. The Acrylic beta is available for download from www.microsoft.com/products/expression. The beta expires in October 2005. (Microsoft: www.microsoft.com)