When I reviewed the basic editing programs a year ago I found that Microsoft’s Picture It! v7.0 had a really excellent 113 page “Companion Guide” that comes with it, that was the best introduction to digital photography that I have seen. The program itself is a good one for beginners but is missing the essential histogram adjustment tool: the auto-correct buttons seem to use part of that control though. Digital Image Pro is Microsoft’s more advanced version, that does have histogram control, but I don’t know if it includes the excellent “Companion Guide”.
I don’t know why you had trouble downloading PhotoBrush. It’s possible the site was being worked on and I suggest you simply try it again. If you had clicked on “contact” at the top of the PhotoBrush page you would find a link email@example.com
He doesn’t not always answer right away as I guess he has become rather busy.