Microsoft move could be the end of the JPEG

Microsoft Corp. will soon submit to an international standards organization a new photo format that offers higher-quality images with better compression, the company said today.The format, HD Photo -- recently renamed from Windows Media Photo -- is taking aim at the JPEG format, a 15-year-old technology 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 a 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 bit-map formats.

View: Full Article @ Computer World

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

US government dept bans Vista

Next Story

Gizmo 3.0.0.266

90 Comments

View more comments

algorithm causes less damage to photos during compression, with higher-quality images that are half the size of a JPEG

and with a lot of DRM in it :P

Finaly, a better file format with good compression and better image quality. JPEG is getting old and JPEG2000 never took off as a new format. If all the power of MS can push a new format, i'm all for it.

And it's even lossless if needed.

Better image quality and smaller than jpeg, time to move over jpeg its time for another to take your crown.
And so what if its a standard designed by Microsoft.

means its only for windows, no mac or linux support, plus people would want to use this may have to pay loyalties.

eilegz said,
means its only for windows, no mac or linux support, plus people would want to use this may have to pay loyalties.

The word is royalties, and no they won't have to pay them.

It also doesn't mean Windows only. But think whatever you want to think.

"means its only for windows, no mac or linux support, plus people would want to use this may have to pay loyalties."

It's not Windows, that would be stupid since the web isn't Windows only either. It's being submitted as an open standard.

I LOVE MICROSOFT they seem to know how to sell water to a whale. This is a marketing ploy they dtake the name HD and it will make the masses come. I think im goign to come up with a HD oil painting and see how it sells.

cterry511 said,
I LOVE MICROSOFT they seem to know how to sell water to a whale. This is a marketing ploy they dtake the name HD and it will make the masses come. I think im goign to come up with a HD oil painting and see how it sells. :cool:

Yeap, Microsoft really could sell Ice to Eskimos. They'd call it Microsoft Ice 2009 and claim it has a load of new features that regular, old, tired Ice doesn't have and that everyone needs. Like enhanced freezing, and cool new coolness features. And then they'd charge you $40 a bag for it and claim that that's a fair price.

Yeah like how GIF files are all going away... except oh wait, they're still around... it's so stupid because JPEG can be saved as nearly lossless, and your software still has to support GIF and JPG and now PNG (MS didn't want to use PNG why -- oh yeah because they don't OWN it), and NOW this new format too -- because if you only support the new format, no other pages will work. i.e. you have 1 jpg on a page with 50 whatever-stupid-format pics, now you need code to support those other formats or that page won't work.
They suck, they just want to push another MS-owned format on us so they can charge us all to use it, the same crap they pulled with the FAT file system and which the JPEG group themselves and CompuServe have all tried in the past. For god's sake why can't people just use PNG, an open format that AFAIK NOBODY owns and supports every possible format, feature, function that you could ever possibly want, and will never be forcefully obsoleted, and you won't ever be sued for using them... PNG PNG PNG PNG!
Anyways, Windows Media format has been around for how many years and still hasn't grabbed itself more than a fraction of the market share, maybe one of the bigger fractions but still, MPG and AVI, even QuickTime and RealAudio are still competitors. I think we'll just end up with another competing format which we have to support.
Stupid MS.

"it's so stupid because JPEG can be saved as nearly lossless, and your software still has to support GIF and JPG and now PNG"

HD Photo will have better quality than JPEG at a smaller file size. I can't object to that.
Oh and it bothers me so much that my software will support more than one format. That's sooo terrible!

"they just want to push another MS-owned format on us so they can charge us all to use it"

We already know that HD Photo is royalty free, no need to try and spread anti-MS FUD and hysteria.

"Anyways, Windows Media format has been around for how many years and still hasn't grabbed itself more than a fraction of the market share"

Yeah, poor VC-1 just never went anywhere did it? As for WMA that is a closed format, no comparison here.

PNG have greater file sizes that JPEG. And software supporting this image formats is not something hard to do.. problems come when you hardware (digital cameras) has to support a new format.

Forgot to mention, the reason gif is still around is because it's replacement, png, was not supported in IE until recently. Expect to see gif go the way of the dodo now that IE7 is out however.

Microsoft needs to update Paint first, then talk about everyone switching formats. Because we all know most people use Paint for everything!

Personally I think this is a great thing, just using it on the web will show it's need for it.

The ability to save much higher quality images for the same file size will be great for websites and such.

For those of you wanting to see the format in action check out:
http://labs.live.com/photosynth/

They are using the new format for the photo collections. And for all the people who say MS isn't innovative, you can't tell me Photosynth isn't innovative. It's by far one of the coolest forms of viewing photos seen to date.

I'm not to fond of innovation, but an improved version of JPEG might be good, if it is widely supported. Photosynth is like what - 5 years old now? Having one or two wild'n wacky projects does not make the giant Microsoft organization innovative.

CheeseCow said,
I'm not to fond of innovation, but an improved version of JPEG might be good, if it is widely supported. Photosynth is like what - 5 years old now? Having one or two wild'n wacky projects does not make the giant Microsoft organization innovative.

How many projects does it take to make them innovative then? Apparently there is a set number? There is nothing out there that allows you to interact with photos in such a rich way as photoshynth, I'd definatly call that innovative no matter how old it may be. Innovation doesn't have to be some big splashy public thing, which is what so many feel is a requirement for something being innovative.

I'd be highly willing to bet there are a lot of innoavative things MS does that the public doesn't know about in projects that either havn't shipped and even in products that have.

Truth be told, it is time for something to replace JPG. Most photographers hate the format, because of distortion. If MS has something better, that can be used on the web, then by all means lets see it.

Although it's by Microsoft, I'm largely satisfied that it will be under the Open Specification Promise - which means that open graphics manipulation software like GIMP would be able to play with the format in the future. Something much better with a smaller size to replace JPG, which is a very old format, is certainly a good thing.

Does this sound like JPEG 2k? Changing formats takes forever. GIF is still required in many places even if PNG is vastly superior, has been available for many years and is an open format.

Commenting is disabled on this article.