Microsoft announces HD Photo

A New Imaging File Format With Advanced Features for Today’s Digital Photographers. Plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop and HD Photo Device Porting Kit to help speed usage and adoption.

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.

Microsoft also announced the beta release of a set of HD Photo plug-ins for Adobe® Photoshop® software, developed with the help of Adobe Systems Inc. These plug-ins enable users to both read and write HD Photo files from within Adobe Photoshop software, and include support for high dynamic range pixel formats. The plug-ins support both the CS3 and CS2 versions of Adobe Photoshop software, and will be available for Windows Vista™ and Windows® XP, as well as Mac OS X (Universal Binary). A beta version of the Windows plug-in is available today for download at the Microsoft® Download Center at Microsoft expects to release finished plug-ins, which will be free of charge, in approximately 60 days.

Source: MS Presspass

News From PC World

Microsoft to Submit New Image Format, Half The Size of JPEG

Microsoft is about to submit its new HD Photo format for images to a standards organization, which they claim will have less-damaging compression and quality, and offer lossy and lossless modes. Their aim is to replace the 15-year-old JPEG format.

They also said adjustments for exposure settings and color balance can be made that, with other bitmap formats, truncate or discard information. It is yet to be seen if vendors of applications, cameras and printers will participate.

Adobe has already pledged support for CS3 and CS2 versions of Photoshop, compatible with Apple's OS X, and Microsoft's XP and Vista. An HD Photo Device Porting Kit has been built in order to allow support from hardware manufacturers.