On the "it never hurts to ask" front, I noticed a while back that Microsoft bought up the company that makes iView Media Pro and is repositioning it as part of their Expression suite. I had a review copy of iView from a couple of years ago. I really like the product and I still use it today as a general purpose clipart/icon browser. It's not perfect but IMHO it beats the pants off Adobe Bridge, which IMHO is about on-par with Windows Vista Explorer as a picture browing/organizing tool.
But I did like iView, mainly because you can build browse-able databases from folders full of clipart or icons or sounds or fonts. These databases contain all of the thumbnails and filenames and info and such so searching and browsing graphics is fast even if you have lots of 'em. And iView made a major upgrade that I didn't buy before MS bought 'em out and rebranded the product. On the new site, MS is making it clear that owners of the latest iView will get a free upgrade to the newly-branded product until the end of July. Since my product was marked NFR and was a version out of date, I didn't hold out hope for a free upgrade, but I gave 'em my magical unlock code anyway.
The system came back with "You should hear from us within 24 hours", which is web-speak for "A real person is verifying these serial numbers", so I was hopeful.
Wonder of wonders I got the magical unlock code and a free upgrade to the latest version. So I'm happy. It's a minor victory but it's something.