May 24, 2006 8:25 PM PDT

Microsoft shows off JPEG rival

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SEATTLE--If it is up to Microsoft, the omnipresent JPEG image format will be replaced by Windows Media Photo.

The software maker detailed the new image format Wednesday at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference here. Windows Media Photo will be supported in Windows Vista and also be made available for Windows XP, Bill Crow, program manager for Windows Media Photo, said in a presentation.

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"One of the biggest reasons people upgrade their PCs is digital photos," Crow said, noting that Microsoft has been in contact with printer makers, digital camera companies and other unnamed industry partners while working on Windows Media Photo. Microsoft touts managing "digital memories" as one of the key attributes of XP successor Vista.

In his presentation, Crow showed an image with 24:1 compression that visibly contained more detail in the Windows Media Photo format than the JPEG and JPEG 2000 formats compressed at the same level.

Still, the image in the Microsoft format was somewhat distorted because of the high compression level. Typically digital cameras today use 6:1 compression, Crow said. Windows Media Photo should offer better pictures at double that level, he said. "We can do it in half the size of a JPEG file."

News.com Poll

Does the world need another photo compression format?

No, JPEG works just fine.
Yes, e-mail and Web pages need smaller files.
Maybe, but I'm concerned about it being a Microsoft product.



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Not only does compression save storage space, which is especially important for devices such as cell phones and digital cameras, a smaller file can also print faster, transfer faster and help conserve battery life on devices, Crow said. "Making a file that is smaller has all kinds of benefits."

The compression technology is also "smart"--it is possible to process only part of a huge, picture file to show a smaller version, Crow said. Additionally, Microsoft's new image format allows such things as rotating the image without the need to decode it and subsequently encode it again, he said.

The new image format was received with cautious enthusiasm by some of the WinHEC attendees. Ralf Mueller, an application planner at mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson, said he would look into the new format just as his company looked into supporting Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video.

"Considering our development cycle, I could not see us supporting Windows Media Photo before 2008," Mueller said.

Steven Wells, a part-time professional photographer, said he sees promise in the new file format. "The JPEG artifacts make it almost unusable for professional photographers," he said. "Windows Media Photo is possibly the first viable compression format."

Yet, success will depend on adoption, Wells said. Microsoft will need to get players such as Adobe Systems and Apple Computer on board to win over the graphics professionals, he noted. A major unknown is licensing, which Microsoft has not yet addressed. "Licensing can kill this," Wells said.

Windows Media Photo was developed by the same people who worked on Windows Media Video and Audio, Crow said. The image format takes a new approach to compression as well as color space and color conversion, he said. Furthermore, it gives a lot of flexibility, including in the pixel format and bit rate, Crow said.

Microsoft has finished the first official version of the "porting kit" software needed to build support for Windows Media Photo into devices and platforms other than Windows. It should be available soon, Crow said.

Licensing details for the technology are still being ironed out. These could be a concern, Crow acknowledged, but "the philosophy has been that licensing should not be a restriction" to adoption, he said.

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WinHEC, Windows Media, JPEG, professional photographer, compression

131 comments

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LAME.
This sounds about as cool as AOL's .ART images.
Posted by Microbreak (61 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sounds Cool = Thats part of what $5 billion on R&D buys...
Im sure it will be another market leading Microsoft technology, just like WMA and WMV are better than any competing products.

For those of this that can afford to pay for a decent operating system no doubt we will be getting this included in the price. If it really stores pictures at the same quality in half the size of JPEGs, then evey digital camera maker on the planet is going to be adopting it quicktime.

I guess if you cant afford a license and use legacy solutions like Linux then you might have a problem, but dont worry - im sure someone will write a downgrader to translate it for you.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
Yet another half baked "Microsoft standard"
"Still, the image in the Microsoft format was somewhat distorted because of the high compression level."

Yep, another substandard, half-baked standard to be built-into Windows and to be imposed on the poor huddling masses. Have they found the security bugs yet?

"A major unknown is licensing, which Microsoft has not yet addressed. "Licensing can kill this," Wells said."

Why will anyone pay for this? You got it right on the ball! In a world moving to royalty free open standards, you're going to ask people to pay money for "somewhat distorted" images?

"Windows Media Photo should offer better pictures at double that level, he said. 'We can do it in half the size of a JPEG file.'"

JPEG can do it in half, a quarter, a tenth, of JPEG size by changing the compression settings. So what's new?

"Not only does compression save storage space, which is especially important for devices such as cell phones and digital cameras, a smaller file can also print faster, transfer faster and help conserve battery life on devices, Crow said. 'Making a file that is smaller has all kinds of benefits.'"

In an age of multi gigabyte flash memory cards, smaller file sizes with "somewhat distortion" are not exactly what we need. Oh, wait, there is an advantage to smaller file sizes! You can open the files in Windows without crashing it!
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Can you read?
Why don't you start and end all your comments with "I hate Microsoft" so we don't have to read through everything else. This format might be crap, but if you could read they are saying that it looks better at the same compression. This is a good thing. Good things should be embraced. I will wait to see if this is the case. People like you confuse me, as if commercial products never bring good things. There is a natural progression in things, Gif, Jpeg, mpeg, mpeg4. I don't care who is making the advancements as long as they make things better. Any reasonable person would hold judgement until they see how and if it actually works.
Posted by tsm26 (81 comments )
Link Flag
Drivel
...wrong side of the cell block bed this morning?

Perhaps the issue is that you could transmit photos at the same or better size than current tech with superior resolution.

Yes storage is cheap but it has to get there first.
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Link Flag
so was Flash when it first came out
I once read an article written by a guy who designed the first version of Flash. The first version that came out was only a vector drawing software. You could make only images, not animations.... and over the years, it has improved a lot with addition of action scripting, streaming flash movie etc. It is now the number one choice for webpage animations.

Similarly Microsoft Office is the market leader in office suite. There are 3-4 other companies like Corel, IBM and lately Openoffice making office suites, but Microsoft is still the market leader. There are so many products specifically designed for Word, like Endnote which is used to handle bibliography (it doesn't work in corel or Openoffice). The point I am trying to make here is that they can innovate and become market leader too.

As far as licensing goes, don't you have to buy Macromedia Flash (though flash player is free), don't you have to pay for Adobe Acrobat (though Acrobat Reader is free), you have to pay for Microsoft Word (Word reader is free). You even have to pay for Photoshop (though software to view jpeg and png etc. is free)

When GIF first came out, it was licensed to Unisys and any program capable of making GIFs had to pay royalty, still it was a leader at the time of dial-up modems because it gives good compression.

So you should analyse and try it before you give such a strong opinion
Posted by ggupta7 (137 comments )
Link Flag
licensing comment
"Why will anyone pay for this?...In a world moving to royalty free open standards, you're going to ask people to pay money for "somewhat distorted" images?"

licensing doesn't mean MS is going to force people to pay to use their format. just so you know, the jpeg format is owned by a group, though one of their stipulations is no licensing fees. mp3s, though thought by many to be free, are actually supposed to be licensed from the group that created it (ie, not free).
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
Sounds like a joke ...
Just compare WMV to MPG.

What are the chances the WMP to JPG comparison will be similar?

Besides the total lack of quality in these MS licensed formats,
who wants something that will have no backward compatibility
with anything?

At least the JPG format is universal, free, and compatible with
everything.

Good luck getting the Mac (graphics people) onboard with this.

Release Vista first, then you can worry about converting the
world standard in photo compression to MicroS**t
Posted by Sparky672 (244 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE
jpeg isn't free, several aspects of the jpeg format are patented.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Link Flag
Is this actually any use at all?
Lets face it, JPEG was obsolete five years ago, J2K is undoubtable superior, it can be used royalty free, it's better quality, and can allow for only a limited amount of resolution to be decoded for resolution quality images on low spec systems...

Jpeg has stayed around because of three things.
1. It's universally supported by computers and viewing systems.
2. It's widely available to hardware manufacturers in chipsets & firmware.
3. It's relatively simple, so allows for quick processing time on low end systems.

The third of these is the killer. My canon 30D can take jpeg photos faster than RAW ones, and with memory prices tumbling, this is the only advantage to the lossy format over the lossles one...

Unless microsoft can provide a format which is faster than jpeg, with less artifacts, there is no application for this software, J2K could have done the rest half a decade ago, it's just no one wanted it to.
Posted by ihate56k (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'll take one.
As a fellow photographer with a Canon 20D that takes JPG photos that are usually 2MB or larger each, I welcome any technology that will let me store the mountains of photos I have taken in half the space. My machine now has almost 1TB of hard drive space mainly to keep up with photos. Backing up this space has become a nightmare! I would gladly convert all my JPG files to Microsoft's new format today if the quality was equal and the file size was cut in half. Seems like a no-brainer...

And let's look at the history of the group that produced the new format. This seems like the equivalent for photos that they did for music files with the WMA format. (IMO) WMA provides all the quality of the MP3 format for a fraction of the file size. Nearly all devices worldwide support the WMA format now and I suspect we'll see the same adoption with this new format if it is as good as it sounds.
Posted by ianlee74 (6 comments )
Link Flag
WebTV for still photographers
Sure this has about as much chance as WebTV had taking over
the Internet.

Now I see why Microsoft has these new photo initiatives - a
student photo contest and a photographer's summit in June in
Redmond.

1: Aperture is Mac-only.

2: Lightroom comes out Mac-only at first.

Still photographers are still in large Mac supporters.

They have to do something. If they can unseat jpeg, more power
to them! But it will have to be more than just better then JPEG
and JPEG2000. It has to have some compelling reason to unseat
the standards that exist.

And with expanding hard drives, and RAW being the only really
viable format to shoot with and provide a lossless archive
format, any format that causes a loss of image quality is just not
good enough. It's worse than not good enough.

I don't think it will fly. But if it does, as long as they handle it
smartly it could be a good thing.
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A solution looking for a problem.
Standardized is better than higher-quality. This is as if Betamax had come out 10 years later. What's the point?
Posted by (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best comment so far
I totally agree.
Speed of processing and ubiquity are the main advantages of jpeg.
As processors get faster and storage gets cheaper the compression and file size concerns become less important.

I think it is a good thing that companies are looking to make advancements in compression as these techniques will always be useful.
Posted by ahickey (177 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sort of...
That is true, we need to save space in mobile devices.

The only disadvantage with such format is that they're introducing (again) closed format.
---
Pixel image editor - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.kanzelsberger.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.kanzelsberger.com</a>
Posted by firstlast (35 comments )
Link Flag
Sort of
That is true, we need to save space in mobile devices.

The only disadvantage with such format is that they're introducing (again) closed format.
---
Pixel image editor - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.kanzelsberger.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.kanzelsberger.com</a>
Posted by firstlast (35 comments )
Link Flag
Reinventing the wheel again...
There are already plenty of other formats to choose from. Do a
web search for a product called "GraphicConverter" on
versiontracker.com and you will see it can import 185 different
formats and export them to 45 formats. Many of these 185
formats are old, rarely used, or proprietary, or worse yet, just
second or third rate formats. You can add M$'s newformat to
this last category. Don't even get me started on the licensing
aspect.

I have yet to see the product myself, but in the M$
presentation... "the image in the Microsoft format was somewhat
distorted because of the high compression level..." As I said
before, there are already over 100 lossy formats to choose from.
There are also several non-proprietary lossless formats to
choose from which of course have nothing to do with M$.

Lastly, the battery savings angle is just silly. Not an issue these
days.

Buh-bye now.
Posted by lesfilip (496 comments )
Reply Link Flag
All wrong
"... or worse yet, just second or third rate formats. You can add M$'s newformat to this last category."
You obviously are neither an advanced or pro photographer. I should probably stop commenting here since all you know about picture quality is that there are an enormous amount of formats out there, which is true. I'll keep commenting a couple of more statements.

"I have yet to see the product myself, but in the M$ presentation... "the image in the Microsoft format was somewhat distorted because of the high compression level..." As I said before, there are already over 100 lossy formats to choose from."
You pick up what you want to percieve it to be I guess. For us photographers the highest compression, which is the one you are quoting, is not of interrest. The rates giving better quality but still being more compressed ARE the ones interresting us. And, FYI, this format is NOT "lossy" which is another very important feature. That was said in this statement:
" Additionally, Microsoft's new image format allows such things as rotating the image without the need to decode it and subsequently encode it again, he said. "

"Lastly, the battery savings angle is just silly. Not an issue these days."
Sure is an issue for us photographers. We need to have 2 to 4 extra batteries with us. Taking several hundred pictures an hour the batteries die out fast and being in the bushes, for ex., makes it hard to constantly recharge them.
Posted by -Shao- (7 comments )
Link Flag
JPEG 2000
Isn't there already JPEG2000 and DNG for RAW images?? They should not reinvent the wheel but focusing on releasing Vista in time...

---
Pixel image editor - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.kanzelsberger.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.kanzelsberger.com</a>
Posted by firstlast (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
JPEG 2000
Yes there is a JPEG2000 and I know of an app that
supports it: Corel PaintShop Pro.
Posted by msims (66 comments )
Link Flag
Open source? Runs on Mac, Linux? No? Forget it!
Nuff said.
Posted by Jill_Gates (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah
I agree, Microsoft just likes monopoly so much, they would like to spread they propietary **** again...
---
Pixel image editor - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.kanzelsberger.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.kanzelsberger.com</a>
Posted by firstlast (35 comments )
Link Flag
What opensource...
JPEG is not opensource it is openformat. (and has been subject to licensing fees)
GIF is not opensource it is openformat.
PNG is not opensource it is openformat.
PDF is not opensource it is openformat.
GIF is patented and was introduced by a big bad internet company of the past..Compuserve.

Please...list all image formats that are openSOURCE that are in common usage.

If MS decides to implement this tech as openformat then you will quickly find MAC and LINUX software that will use it. Why would the bother working on that right now when they sell WINDOWS products not MAC or LINUX products.
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Link Flag
Looks impressive. Looking forward to more on this.
Tray Johnson gave a good feedback to a so commonly uneducated response to an MS article.
I'd like to add that maybe we all should be getting a hint in the nic on especially one of the kids making such a childish post, his nic being Maccess. Wow, wonder how indoctrinated you have to be to even create a personal nic relating to a brand name.
As many of us know, there are a lot of Mac users who could be said to belong to a so called Mac sect. Can't reason or talk to these ppl, they are brainwashed. Everything related to Bill Gates or Microsoft will be attacked no matter what the issue.

To the news. I, as an advanced amateur photographer with over 25 years with SLR cameras and a lot of past darkroom experience, am very impressed with the first information received here. No lossless rotation, faster dSLR picture taking with this format, better compression with less quality loss. Deffinitely filling the gap between JPEG and RAW format. Seems too good to be true. Lets hope it holds up and that the liscensing issue will work out.
Btw, I'm a Mac and PC technician and network engineer. Every OS works better than others at certain things.
Posted by -Shao- (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nothing to do with Macs
If the first three letters remind you of another operating system isn't my problem.

To refer to our posts as that of "one of the kids with a childish post," when all we posted was a point by point rebuttal of the discussions presented in the article does not speak well of your own maturity and technical expertise.

If you care to comment on technical aspects of the article, please feel free.

Your claims that you have "25 years with SLR cameras and a lot of past darkroom experience,"Btw, I'm a Mac and PC technician and network engineer." sound more like an advertisement for your own ego more than anything else.

So do you regularly troll the lists finding places where you can post your credentials?

You must be so insecure of your own experience to be resorting to this.

Honestly, are your credentials genuine or did you just make them up?
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Link Flag
Look beyond the label...
I'm with you. As a Mac/PC user I'm open to any idea that will
make my work better: no matter where it comes from. These
forums seem to attract "fanboys" from every sector of the
computer world and I'm really tired of it. Here's hoping that
MS's new format will revolutionize the digital photo world!
Posted by brodda2 (6 comments )
Link Flag
WAAAAAAHHHH !!!!
"Boo hoo. It's not open source. Guess I'm gonna have to pay for it instead of getting it for free."
Posted by Sysadmin_MS (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Grow up, please!
Open formats and ones that can be used free are quite abundant,
and there really is no need for a format that is going to be most
likely tightly controlled by one company. So why pay for it?

If you can guarantee me that it can generate files that have no loss
at a 24:1 compression ratio, then maybe it would be worth it.
Otherwise there is no reason to help Microsoft take over yet
another market.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Free as in freedom not free beer.
it isnt about cost. Open Source is free as in free speach not free beer. Here is the problem with this. i pay for a Linux Distro and if my mom is using Vista sends me an image in this new format will i beable "Legally" to view it. Microsoft's track record speaks for itself in that. A file whether its a text document video file, audio file, or photo file should be open to work on all platforms. its fine that windows media player doesnt work on linux thats a program but if a file you can play in media plater cant be viewed because the liscense restricts it to windows only then the free speach concept of open formats is therefor negated. It isnt about cost at all. Realize that some Open Source is still associated with a cost. Even if the cost is only in the support of the product. Microsoft would do good to adopt this philosophy. i perfer linux and if that means my family and friends cant send me pictures because again another propriety file format is created then so be it. One day I can hope they realize that i dont want to use windows. And not out of cost but that windows philosophy of design doesnt appeal to me as well as the macintosh. i like the structure of linux and unix.
Posted by fredblotnic (10 comments )
Link Flag
still worth considering
Calling it "another substandard, half-baked standard" IMO is being hasty, if we haven't seen the specs or performance yet.

"Each of those claims are already being available with existing products."

If it still has the same functionality but works better, it's worth considering. A better mousetrap, while it still just traps mice, is still a better mousetrap.
Posted by hapax (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft creates industry standard for toasters...
In other breaking news, Microsoft created a new hardware
specification for toasters. Hardware manufacturers can license the
new specification and bakers can get their bread Microsoft-
certified. Windows Toast functionality will also be added to
Windows Vista. Bill Gates was quoted as saying "this is a major
innovation in toast."
Posted by justinpowell (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Embrace and extend
No matter what the benefits, I'm concerned by Microsoft's strong affinity for proprietary formats encumbered by Digital Restrictions Management (DRM).

I'm concerned that, sometime in the future, Microsoft may hold my photos for ransom, requiring that I purchase an upgrade to view them. Or, even worse, that Microsoft may drop support for the format; and since it's proprietary, there wouldn't be any other viewers available.
Posted by ka1axy (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lock
They like to lock up their customers. In near future you will be forced to use their format as other people will be blindly using them already.

If they want us to like it, they should open their format and forget DRM.
Posted by firstlast (35 comments )
Link Flag
Dolt
DRM isn't something MS hoists on consumers, it is something that media companies demanded. DRM has been in use in various forms for over 25 years so stop acting like it is a MS invention. Further, the consuers rights are completly and totally dictated by the company that owns and/or sells the content not MS.

Finally I don't see DRM having anything to do with a consumers implimentation of a photo format.

It just gets irritating seeing your type of comments which frankly are almost entirely ignorant. Learn a bit more before you open your mouth pls.
Posted by J. Blow (193 comments )
Link Flag
Industry resistance to the format?
From what I've read, no one wants to see Microsoft gain a major
share of their sector of the marketplace like they did on the
desktop.

For that reason alone, MS may seem major industry resistance to
their jpeg rival, their acrobat rival, and any other copycat
product they may choose to release.

The Open Document Format situation may be a harbinger of
what MS can expect to face in the future.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It ain't broken!
First question - Why? Well I guess I know the answer. Monopoly. Greed.

No need for another standard. JPEG is just fine for amateur photography. PNG is just fine for other small footpring applications. Professional photographers use RAW and that's not going to change anytime soon. RAW is needed for post processing and editing.
Posted by HalfEmptyGlass (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
no need for another standard?
didn't they say this when there were only bitmaps?
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
Hmmm...
It appears to be the TIFF format with a few
additional proprietary tags and an MS patented
pixel codec. Now, what they describe isn't as
good as JPEG2000 -- it has blocking artifacts
and such, and it basically botches TIFF (it
doesn't even fix the image size limitations of
TIFF).

So, I guess this is really a non-starter for
widespread adoption, particularly since there's
no demand for it right now, and there are
already better established alternatives.
Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PNG!!!!
What the hell? Just use the damn PNG file format. It preserves the DPI, it uses an Alpha channel, it can be layered, optimized palette, and is designed for transmission over the internet! Oh, and all browsers support the file format! What more do you want in a file format?

Stick to PNG and let MS spin their wheels on Crack Rock file format .0.0.1.
Posted by Axiomatic13 (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yup
I was thinking the same thing. The only reason this MS format might be useful would be if its lossless compression is somehow better than PNG's..&#38; even then, if it needs licensing or is DRM-crippled then what's the point?
Posted by M A (51 comments )
Link Flag
No!
The .PNG format is HUGE! i just tried one image in .jpg is 48k and same image in .PNG is 450k- and there wasn't any visible difference!
Posted by G.Nuisance (10 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
PNG is the way to go. It does, however, require some knowledge to use properly. (IE. Optimizing pallates) The only benifit to MS's new format is it's true purpose; DRM. Which would be good for photography sites. Less bandwidth and less theft. But PNG is perfect for the rest of us.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
No. Use the right tool for the job
Um, no. PNG was designed specifically to replace GIF. It was not intended to replace JPEG. Because of this, JPEG tends to be better for use with photographs and will usually result in smaller file sizes.

The point of the article and the point of Microsoft's new technology is to decribe a new methodology and file format for lossy data compression. It might help if you understood your tools better and where they're supposed to be used, then you'd understand the significance of the article and the utility of the new technology.

Me? I still remember the problem with GIF and the Web when Unisys started talking royalties. That combined with Microsoft's less than stellar track record with respect to market capture techniques means I wouldn't be caught touching a Microsoft data format like this one with a ten foot pole.
Posted by airbns (32 comments )
Link Flag
Like Apple Pict but better
But 95 percent of the worlds computers will support it fully
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And the Microsoft bashers come out yet again...
It amazes me how many people are super-critical of this format merely because it's from Microsoft. Can Microsoft do ANYTHING right, in your eyes?

Personally, I have no problem with this format as long as they don't position it as a Web format. Microsoft is finally supporting PNG properly, so hopefully PNG will become the dominant Web image format, as it should be.
Posted by UnnDunn (55 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OS X and Vista
After seeing some pics of Vista on the web, it's starting to look more and more like OS X as far as the sleep graphics. Always copying.

If MS thinks Apple is a joke with only 3% of the market, why copy ? someone they laught at ?

Ahhhh :- ) there you go.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hey stuge
if you want to talk about vista post to a relevant article. and I am pretty sure there is more to Vista then the surface there buddy. the fact that the appearance is all you see means you should stick with your OS X and enjoy the ignorance, I hear it's bliss.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Link Flag
Apple checks on Microsoft at WinHEC
This is not the right place to discuss the two OS, but since you started, let me add this too.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/2061-10794_3-6076237.html" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/2061-10794_3-6076237.html</a>

"Among the more than 3,500 attendees at Microsoft's annual event for hardware experts are some perhaps unexpected visitors: Apple Computer employees. The Cupertino, Calif., company has four people at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle this week, checking out what Microsoft is up to."
Posted by Riyan.M (20 comments )
Link Flag
Costs will determine the success
JPEG, the current and near universal standard costs nothing to use and incorporate into your product. It is popular, well understood and supported by every digital camera maker and is supported on every current desktop OS. Microsoft's will have to match or better JPEG feature for feature or it will fail in the market place.

If it is hobbled by some funky new DRM, it will probably fail.
Posted by Arbalest05 (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Monopoly Trumps Market Economics
You're forgetting that monopoly trumps market economics. And, conveniently, MS has one. Or at least near enough to one to still be able to dictate a lot of what happens in the market place.
Posted by airbns (32 comments )
Link Flag
as a photographer I think this is promising
As far as I can tell the spec. is open
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/wmphoto.mspx" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/wmphoto.mspx</a>
This is much better than jpeg2000 which has died due to licensing issues. From a prelim. look this looks to have more features than j2000 with none of the royalty issues.

PNG, TIFF, RAW, DNG, EXR, jpeg are not real options for sharing 16bit or hdr images. There is no "standard" way of doing this, I'm happy that someone is proposing something. The best these other "standards" do is lossless compression. I think the ability to lightly compress wider dynamic range images is a huge feature.

For web delivery of large images I'd love to see images with more dynamic range than jpeg at half the download size. If they can deliver on this and let anyone implement it then it seems like goodness to me.
Posted by xyzzxy (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You're mistaken
You are mistaken on several points.

TIF is just fine for sharing 16 bit files. They're big, for sure, but
with LZW lossless compresion it makes the files quite a bit
smaller. Especially if you use the ProPhoto RGB color space, you
have all the 16 bit quality you could possibly want.

RAW is better for storage.

But I see promise in this new format, if it's free. Microsoft is still
trying to cash in on FAT. What makes people think they'll give
this new (horrible name) format away for free? I really have my
doubts.

And if it's not Mac compatible, it's dead in the water. Those who
think Apple's 5 percent market share (it's gone up folks) is
reflected in the pro photo market, you are sadly mistaken.
Adobe gets almost half their Photoshop revenue from Mac users.
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Link Flag
They'll never learn.
Once again Microsoft thinks it knows best. This attempt to force a new standard will fail like all the others. They'll never learn.
Posted by DrDolitl (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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