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Picture this: Microsoft's JPEG rival

Microsoft this week unveiled a new image format at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, which it hopes will take on the ubiquitous JPEG format.

Windows Media Photo will be supported in Windows Vista and Windows XP, officials said. Microsoft boasts that its compression technology can offer better images at half the size of a JPEG file.


Blogger reaction to the WinHEC news seemed to be: Well, it's not much, but at least it's a start.

Blog community response:

"I gotta say, even if the format was terrible, I'm delighted to see Microsoft do this. There is no conceivable reason image compression should stay the same, no more than video or audio codecs should. Microsoft pushing a new format invites development and improvement, and hopefully everyone will win in the end."
--Inside Microsoft

"Like so many innovations, this one appears to be looking for a problem to solve. If Microsoft's team had been able to increase compression by a factor of 10 without any image loss, it would be a slam dunk. 2x might not be enough to pay attention."
--Alec Saunders .LOG

"I doubt that Microsoft's format still will be better than the RAW format that I shoot in today and I doubt that you'll see the top photographers switching to it over RAW, but for the world of amateurs shooting JPG this could be a positive step forward."
--Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection