Having downloaded and started playing with GIMP 2.6 on windows as part of the day job I have noticed a few new tricks.
The best of which is that you can now set GIMP to be your default graphic file handler in Visual Studio 2008. (I have tried this with previous versions of both GIMP and Visual Studio and it has never worked as expected. There may have been fixes or workarounds but life is too short!)
Simply right mouse click on a graphic file, select open with. In the dialog box that appears select Add and you will be able to set the path to the gimp-2.6.exe file and set a name that will be displayed in the available applications list that VS displays when you select open with. Once you have entered these click OK and click Set As Default. Now every time you open a graphics file it will load up into Gimp.