Microsoft Image Composite Editor is a neat little tool from the software giant's research group that uses a powerful stitching engine to create panoramic photos. You can simply load the individual shots - taken from a single camera location - onto the interface and the program will automatically analyze overlaps to combine them into a high-resolution panoramic scene. The process is rather simple and the results can be impressive, as seen on the video below.

Obviously your mileage will vary depending on the photos available. The program features advanced orientation adjustment view options for planar, cylindrical, and spherical projections as well as an orientation tool for adjusting panorama rotation. The stitched panorama can be shared with friends and viewed in 3D by uploading it to Microsoft's Photosynth website, or saved in a variety of image formats including JPEG, PNG and TIFF. Also supported is Silverlight's Deep Zoom and the HD View and HD View SL panorama viewers.

Microsoft Image Composite Editor is provided free of charge and without official support. However, if you have questions or issues with Image Composite Editor, Microsoft suggests you head to the Image Composite Editor Forum, which is monitored by the developers and provides community-based support.