Microsoft has closed a project to develop a tool, Codename Max, for sharing photos with friends and reading RSS feeds, among other functions.In an Oct. 31 blog posting, Microsoft said feedback from the project has contributed to development of its .NET 3.0 programming framework, and may also end up in Windows Live, a new series of Web and desktop-based applications.Max also let users annotate their photos, as if they were using a felt-tip pen, while the original images were preserved. In March, developers incorporated MSNBC Newsbot into Max, which pulls content from online news sources.Users were generally complimentary about Max, if somewhat perplexed by its features. They tended to put Max in the same category as Picasa, a photo-sorting and sharing program owned by Google."Being able to trade your pictures and slide shows through a beautiful little program seems to be the goal of Microsoft Max," wrote David Kirk on his blog. "To their credit, it does those things well." But Kirk wrote that Max had to be downloaded to a machine, and that publishing to a website such as Flickr makes the content more accessible."Max looks nice, and I can see it might be useful when there are plenty of more features," wrote another user on Max\u2019s blog. "However, I don\u2019t see the value of this news feature. If I want to read news, I will use my browser and not my photo software."-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page.\u00a0For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.