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Microsoft format to become JPEG successor

updated 03:50 pm EDT, Fri November 2, 2007

Microsoft behind JPEG XR

The multinational Joint Photographic Experts Group, responsible for the JPEG standard used in virtually all mainstream imaging, has announced that the next iteration of its standard will be based on Microsoft's HD Photo format. HD Photo is built into Windows Vista, and was originally dubbed Windows Media Photo, hoped to offer some degree of proprietary control for the company; in its new incarnation however it will be called JPEG XR, and remain neutral as with the current JPEG technology. Prior to today Microsoft had already partly opened up HD Photo, providing the SDK for free to interested developers.

The "XR" addition stands for Extended Range, and like HD Photo, should allow a wider and subtler range of tones, as well as an expanded color palette, and better compression. For amateur and professional photographers, XR should support in-camera image processing. Adoption is not expected in the immediate future; Microsoft project leader Bill Crow says that even HD Photo make take another year to gain reasonable support. [via CNET]

by MacNN Staff




  1. RKDinOKC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's exactly what they said about the XP graphic format.

  1. paulc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Leaving aside the fact that m$ will ALWAYS have some advantage over other OS vendors in using this format, didn't we already have a successor to jpeg called jpeg 2000? Anyone ever seen one of those?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    microsoft plus open?

    The words "Microsoft" and "open" are about as synonymous as "Camel's hole in sandstorm" and "open"!

  1. scottnichol

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and the point is...

    quite frankly, i don't see the point to it. it's not like i'm going to discontinue my current workflow. i take raw files, bring them into photoshop, adjust, retouch, add layers and effects and they're saved as new versions in my aperture library.

    when i need to export to the web, i produce 800x600 pixel JPGs that are about 80-120 Kbytes. JPG is really just an intermediate format used for display on the web AFAIC.

    i can see some usefullness if a point-n-shoot records its captures in this format to allow a higher bit-depth image without using a proprietary RAW format, but most point-n-shoot photographers aren't doing any editing to their shots anyway! they get the white balance wrong, then don't know how to fix it anyway!

    so, this new format really seems like a solution in search of a problem.

  1. bsaxton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jeez... give it a rest...

    I think its good. JPEG is, what, 20 years old now? Its time for an update. Hooray for Microsoft. The operating system may be ugly, but at least it can hold up pretty pictures.

  1. badbad

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is a GOOD thing...

    as long as it has a license similar to the JPEG license. Everyone can use it and new devices can be made with it in mind. The MSFT format supports a higher dynamic range and a more compact, elegant scaling format. People can hate or love MSFT but the image format has inherent superiority over the original JPG format.

    Again, as long as the license agreements are suitable, I would love Apple, Canon, etc to adopt it as soon as possible.

  1. bigmig

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As long as it's totally open and MSFT has no control over it (or at least no more control than any other member of JPEG), I have no problem with it. But as Paulc said, who is going to use it? We've had JPEG 2000 for years now and that's gone nowhere. I exported a few things to that format once, but I stopped as soon as I realized that there was no guarantee that every client app would support it. Portability is going to trump "a wider and subtler range of tones" 99 times out of 100.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969



    1) it has to be better

    2) it has to work

    3) it has to be open

    4) it has to be widely adopted

    Microsoft has trouble with all of those items, but if they accomplished them, I'd use it.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What about png?

    So where does the .png format stand in all this? Apple uses it for it's screen shot format. Is it a "standard" format? How does it compare quality-wise to the current JPEG and MS's next-gen JPEG format?

  1. Darwiniandude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PNG is different

    PNG files are awesome. I love them :) But the files are bigger than JPEG. It's like a replacement for TIFF and a replacement for GIF rolled into one. PNG's have variable transparency, unlike GIF, and have very effective LOSSLESS compression. Both are reasons Apple use it i'd say. It's completely open AND royalty free. However, as it's lossless you can't get really bite-sized files like you can with JPEG, which does so by throwing information our the window.

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