The Photo Organizer, a separate application that comes bundled free with PhotoPlus X5, works more or less the same as Google's (free). And Photo Organizer is just as frustrating as Picasa if you have gigabytes of images and don't want to wait while the program catalogs your entire collection before you can tell it to stop. However, the organizer is very useful if you have another Serif product like DrawPlus or CraftArtist ($60).
Unlike Paint.NET (free), an open-source photo editing tool, PhotoPlus comes complete with all the bells and whistles you would ever need. It's a pretty hefty program that can absolutely hold it's own against budget Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7, Corel's Paintshop Pro ($100) and heavy-weights like Photoshop.
The Starter Edition of PhotoPlus is free, although you do have to register and open an account with Serif. There are frequent popups to upgrade, and just like , the Starter Edition is really a demo and locks you out of many of the best features. However, if you're interested in a Photoshop-like feel without the pricetag, PhotoPlus may be just what you're looking for.