A leading UK educator has attacked Microsoft’s claims that its MovieMaker 2 beta is the best consumer video-editing solution on the market.

Microsoft’s claims are driven in part by mounting evidence that digital video is a powerful teaching tool, leading to it becoming ever-more popular in UK schools. However, Denbighshire's Education Service ICT advisor David Baugh disagrees – and has authored a Web page to prove his point. On it, he compares Apple's iMovie 2 with the MovieMaker 2 beta.

Of Microsoft’s claim that its solution supports both analogue and digital camcorders, Baugh says: "You’ll find that you also need an analogue-to-digital converter card – an odd claim, as it’s the same situation with iMovie or any other editing program."

Microsoft also makes big play of the fact it offers 60 built-in transitions with MovieMaker 2 – but Baugh criticises these as "pretty trashy", saying they lack the customization features of iMovie 2. He also points out that Apple offers transitions as free downloads.

Baugh also raises usuability issues, claiming MovieMaker2 is less intuitive than iMovie: “MovieMaker2’s special-effects tools are not user controllable, and its Task Wizards are task-centred, and accord with what Microsoft believes users want. iMovie is intuitive to user-need.”

Microsoft's claim to be offering "industry-leading compression technology" is also open to question, in Baugh's opinion. He says: “MovieMaker2 lets users save in Windows Media Format and AVI files – while iMovie and QuickTime offers a variety of open standards and MPEG-4 formats.”

Baugh goes on to speculate that iMovie 3 may be released at Macworld San Francisco next month, and is hoping for "better CD and DVD burning integration, better Web publishing, better still-image manipulation and integration with iPhoto".