Today at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) 07 International Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft Corp. formally announced HD Photo, a new file format for end-to-end digital photography that offers higher image quality, greater preservation of data, and advanced features for today’s digital-imaging applications.
This new, next-generation digital image format offers the best solution for digital image editing and storage and unlocks the potential for digital photography on devices, applications and services. Microsoft also announced that it intends to standardize the technology and will be submitting HD Photo to an appropriate standards organization shortly.
HD Photo offers compression with up to twice the efficiency of JPEG, with fewer damaging artifacts, resulting in higher-quality images that are one-half the file size. In addition, HD Photo offers increased image fidelity, preserving the entire original image content and enabling higher-quality exposure and color adjustments in the image. This new format offers the ability to decode only the information needed for any resolution or region, or the option to manipulate the image as compressed data.
Support is already built into Windows Vista, the XML Paper Specification (XPS), .NET Framework 3.0, and Windows Imaging Component (WIC) in which places it is still called Windows Media Photo and Microsoft has found a pal in Adobe who has helped them develop HD Photo plug-ins for Photoshop which can be downloaded starting today as betas. However, it is still a long road to a new digital photography standard as Stephen Shankland details in an article at CNET and there are already suspicions on how open an HD Photo standard Microsoft is seeking.