The innovative folks at Microsoft Research launched a new piece of freeware called Microsoft Image Composite Editor.  It automatically creates a panoramic image out of a collection of photos you select.  For those who don't regularly use this feature in Photoshop's photomerge, it's a nice free alternative in a neat package.

Photographers will appreciate the inclusion of exposure blending and the ability to output the resulting file in TIFF, PNG or the standard JPEG.  Microsoft showcases some of the largest images in their ultra high definition gigapixel image gallery.  Personally, the established and multiplatform panoramic creator AutoPano takes the cake in this field, but hopefully further competition will benefit the consumer.

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