Microsoft moves to replace JPEG with HD Photo

Microsoft will soon submit a new photo format to an international standards organization that it says offers higher quality images with better compression

Microsoft will soon submit a new photo format to an international standards organization that it says offers higher quality images with better compression, the company said on Thursday.

The format, HD Photo -- recently renamed from Windows Media Photo -- is taking aim at the JPEG format, a 15-year old technology still widely used in digital cameras and image applications.

Both formats take images and use compression to make the file sizes smaller so more photos can fit on a memory card. During compression, however, the quality of the photo tends to degrade.

Microsoft said HD Photo's lightweight algorithm causes less damage to photos during compression, with higher-quality images that are half the size of JPEG.

The format can also accommodate "lossless" and "lossy" compression, two methods of compressing photo data with different effects on image quality. Microsoft said adjustments can be made to color balance and exposure settings that won't discard or truncate data that occurs with other bitmap formats.

Although JPEG is aging, it has been modified to help keep it up to date. The latest JPEG 2000 format features better image quality while also supporting lossless and lossy compression. The original JPEG did only lossy.

Time will tell whether HD Photo can supplant JPEG by gaining the support of printer, camera and application vendors. But Microsoft is supporting the format in products such as its Vista and XP OSes and has already gained an important vendor ally.

In the next two months, Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft will release a plug-ins for CS3 and CS2 versions of its widely used Photoshop program for Vista, XP and Apple's OS X. Also, Microsoft also has built a HD Photo Device Porting Kit so hardware manufacturers can support it.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?