Adobe, the maker of the popular photo-editing software Photoshop, launched a basic version available for free online on Thursday. It’s much anticipated online version of Photoshop, dubbed Photoshop Express.It’s not everything you can do in Photoshop fit into a web browser. No layers here, no fancy pants masking. But for 95% of your photos, it offers pretty much all you need to fix them up, and it does it with style. The Flash-based application has just 17 basic buttons for editing, a thumbnail display of all the different changes you’ve made, and the album storing (2 GB of space), import (from Picasa and Facebook, among others) and sharing features seem up-to-snuff. In other words, you won’t get layers, channels, and dodge-and-burn, but you can remove chocolate stains from white shirts pretty handily.

Whether adjusting exposure, white balance, or hue, touching up blemishes, or distorting your image, Photoshop Express provides an easy slider and thumbnails to give you an instant preview of your image at various settings. Even undo is better than you’d expect.

Being on the web, this Photoshop’s made for sharing. Everyone gets their own URL at photoshop.com, and the slideshows are top-notch – big, beautiful images with classy transitions.

It’s not a Photoshop replacement at all, but it is a remarkably slick and well-designed basic photo-editing and sharing application. Arguably the best so far.

San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems Inc. says it hopes to boost its name recognition among a new generation of consumers who edit, store and share photos online.