Adobe's free web-based version of Adobe Photoshop is now available as a beta. Photoshop Express allows users to store up to 2GB of images, make edits to their photos, and share them, all online. UPDATE: click here for a full review of Adobe Photoshop Express online photo editor

First rumoured last year, Photoshop Express is a way for Adobe to compete with free applications like Google's Picasa, which have emerged over the last few years (Download Picasa here).

Since it's to be used by consumers, the company has put a lot of effort into ease-of-use. In a few clicks, users will be able to make standard edits, such as removing blemishes and red-eye, converting to black and white, cropping and resizing. No experience is required, Adobe said.

Users will also be able to integrate with social-networking sites such as Facebook.

Photoshop Express works with all major browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, Adobe said. It requires an internet connection and Flash Player 9 to work.

The tool is based on Flex, Adobes cross-browser plug-in technology for multimedia.

At first, Photoshop Express is available only to US residents and only in English. Users may experience slow performance if accessed outside of the US, Adobe warned. Future plans include availability in other languages and countries.

This isn't Adobe's first foray into web-based services. Adobe announced the availability of Premiere Express, an online video editing available on partner sites such as MTV and Photobucket, early last year.