Saturday, January 27th 2007

Microsoft's new picture format gaining momentum

Microsoft, back in May, began promoting it's new "Windows Media Photo" standard, which has been since renamed HD Photo. Microsoft is very clear with it's ambitions: They want to replace JPEG as the primary format for pictures. While some would argue that overtaking JPEG as the most popular picture format is a bit overzealous, Microsoft has two figurative ace-in-the-hole's. The first is that Microsoft will be shipping it with Windows Vista. That means that people who use Windows Vista will be able to see HD Photo, regardless of the photo viewer. This isn't exactly the kind of thing you need to switch people to a picture format. So Adobe systems will patch Photoshop CS3 after it is released to support HD Photo. This will allow users to save their pictures in HD Photo. CNET editors call these methods "pervasive", but they could very well be effective. The picture below shows what the difference is between JPEG and HD Photo when talking about compression. The less color in the picture, the less distortion there is, so ideally a perfect compression would be pitch black.

Source: CNET
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26 Comments on Microsoft's new picture format gaining momentum

They can update picture quality, file types and whatever else they feel like. But if someone has a poor quality screen, or as is the problem with most computers running Windows: bad calibration, having HD Pictures won't make a blind bit of difference for your average user. I suspect the difference will hardly be noticable in the best of conditions anyway?
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