"Lucky us -- we got to try Lightroom 1.0 just before its official debut. This milestone for Adobe radically rearranges key Photoshop functions within a super-streamlined virtual workspace designed for organizing and processing large groups of images. Lightroom 1.0 should be familiar to the many people who've been using the free Public Beta. The commercial version has been further augmented and refined, and it's available for both Windows and Mac OS (available for purchase February 19 for $199). The new program combines a broad range of functions -- viewing, cataloguing, image editing, multimedia output and advanced printing -- in a single package.
Most significantly, everything that happens inside Lightroom is virtual, not physical. That means that the photos you "import" into Lightroom's Library don't actually reside there but are represented by Lightroom-generated preview images and associated metadata. Since the software alters instruction sets instead of actual pixels, all visual edits (color, tone, cropping, sharpening, etc.) are non-destructive. So your actual images remain untouched, whether you're working with RAW, JPEG, TIFF or PSD files. This also means you can view changes in real time, batch-edit large groups of photos very quickly, maintain permanent edit histories, and create numerous virtual file versions instead of space-consuming physical duplicates. To share with others, you can export copies (never the originals) as single images or batches -- in whatever size, quality and file format they need."