What is GIMP?
GIMP (which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open source freeware whose role is somewhat analogous to the relationship between OpenOffice and Microsoft Office – the former and GIMP are alternative, open source versions of high end commercial software, whose code is particularly a well-kept secret (thus closed source). GIMP, meanwhile, is a good alternative to Adobe Photoshop, as both are raster graphics editing software, and it possesses most of Photoshop’s features without having to spend a lot of cash in obtaining Adobe’s licensed product. Because of this, GIMP is often compared with Photoshop, with reviewers from publications even calling it as a true Photoshop alternative, since they mostly have the same capabilities. The developers (and the community) of GIMP however stand by their notion that GIMP is not meant to replace Photoshop.
Aside from the usual tasks and capabilities of a graphics editor (such as image retouching and management), GIMP can also create animated images such as GIF and MPEG files through a free plugin, and supports detailed image manipulation and free-form drawing. GIMP’s developers claim that their vision is a free, but high end software that is not bogged down by commercial success and is driven by its community and contributors.