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Microsoft shows off JPEG rival
...format will be replaced by Windows Media Photo

 6:01 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Cnet: Microsoft shows off JPEG rival [news.com.com]

The software maker detailed the new image format Wednesday at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference here. Windows Media Photo will be supported in Windows Vista and also be made available for Windows XP, Bill Crow, program manager for Windows Media Photo said in a presentation.



 10:21 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Much will happen before this gets to the level where a webmaster will need to worry about it.

Stick with jpeg for the forseeable future, even if Microsoft rolls this out, even if Apple/Adobe/... should support it, the first part of the world that is likely to use it (if ever) are the photographers.

If it gets popular there, only then will webmasters need to start to worry about browser support before they can even consider using it.

Personally I'd much rather see an open standard. [Yes, I tried to read some of Microsofts file format "specifications", it's utterly incomprehensible]


 11:42 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

IMHO until Microsoft is open about how they would license this format (including owning up to whether they've patented it already!), this is going to go nowhere.

Which manufacturer wants to standardise on a format that someone else has a patent on?


 6:27 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Aaaaah! Subterfuge! Subterfuge!

JPEG is only valuable as a web image format. It's used by many digital cameras because of its "lossy" compression's ability to compress the image file data and fit more image files on the limited media storage devices current lower-end cameras have available to them.

Professional photographers who care about the quality of their pictures don't use JPEG ... it's too ugly. They use the TIFF (lossless LZW compression) and/or RAW (no compression) formats, and then produce copies for web distribution in JPEG with minimal compression.

MS wants to have the only browser that supports their format, so when Kodak and the other hardware producers start to include it in their products and MS-philes start to include the images on their websites the other browser mfrs will have to pay a license fee to MS or get out of the game. "Licensing issues"? You can bet that there will be only two: Who qualifies for one and how much it will cost.

If it was a question of producing quality compressed images, MS would have gone with a lossless format. They are fully aware that (in no small part through their own re-education of the public through the distribution of their products) the web-surfing public has low expectations for truly quality images.

I remember when personal computors first started sending the output of their amazingly crappy dot-matrix printers in to a printing press shop I worked for, and the owner of the shop refused to duplicate the dot output because of the damage it would do to his business when he became associated with that ugly stuff. Of course, that has changed to the point where most people would say that a photo looked "great", even with substantial compression artifacts because they simply have no recollection of what a truly "great" looking photo looks like ... printed from film onto continuous-tone media.


 6:51 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

maybe it'll just be an extension that pushes some of vista's features. perhaps it'll help with image search -- an area that thus far has had limited success. Its a likely progression to see new formats released as some of the major projects like voice recognition are pursued by the big boys.


 7:19 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

StupidScript, hilarious and insightful.

I dunno about you guys, but anything that starts off "Windows Media something-something" sounds like a great idea to me... I'm sure my Mac will love it.

Screw Microsoft, seriously. How could this possibly benefit anyone but themselves, when we already have formats in the works (or already here, like PNG) that can do great things but get no love (that is, no love from guess who)? And look, the Internet is not some damn pet project. It's the yin to real life's yang... you have no more right to try to copyright digital imagery standards than you have a right to try to copyright the way people see the world with their eyes.

If you want to further the fundemental technologies and capabilities of the web, do it pro bono or don't do it at all.


 10:48 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unless they release it as an open standard, this will likely die at the starting gate.

The only real benefit I can see for webmasters, is that it will make some of us a ton of money going in and "fixing" the images on another raft of sites published by secretaries and newbie webmasters.

Gazing into my crystal ball I see the future of MS's new format.... It's hazy, but it involves me making some large contributions to my RSP.

I just want to take the opportunity now to thank MS for aFrontpage, and so many of their other web initiatives. If it wasn't for MS's ability to screw up the web, I wouldn't have been able to clear my mortgage before I hit 35.


 11:21 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah ... PNG! Jeesh! How did that fall off my radar? Variable transparency, lossless compression, supported by any decent browser ... free. I'll check out the new MS format when Vista is released. ;)


 12:04 am on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, but people who post to this site generally aren't among the zombie masses.

If the clueless mass public start to use this damned format by default (because MS will probably make sure it comes installed as standard with everything on a newbie's Vista machine) then websites will end up full of their damned patented rubbish. And we'll once again see MS crowbar in an uninnovative, unnecessary, expensive piece of their proprietary crap.


 10:19 am on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was at a VoIP conference last week, seeing a MS presentation of the Microsoft Communicator by an Irish Microsoft employee. I noticed that he had put "Supports industry standards" as a bullet point on the advantages of using the Communicator IM (Microsoft Messenger) over Google Talk, ICQ, AOL buddy, Yahoo Messenger etc. Industry standards? Read Microsoft standards. Watch out, here comes another industry standard for imaging... :-)


 3:45 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

The lossless and lossy compression of JPEG2000 offer everything you could possibly want and which isn't already covered brilliantly by PNG. Quite why Microsoft would want to bring a new format to the market is beyond me, it will just make them seem even-more self serving.


 3:24 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Before jumping down MS's throat, ask what the new format can do. If MS can produce an photo with the same quality as a JPEG but half the filesize, that's a major accomplishment that will save us a bundle on bandwidth.


 7:03 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

If MS can produce an photo with the same quality as a JPEG but half the filesize, that's a major accomplishment that will save us a bundle on bandwidth.

I'm not meaning to be obtuse, but this may well be a solution looking for a problem.

JPEG is standard almost everywhere. Have you experienced end users complaining about it? Do we need a new "standard"?


 4:02 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

No we don't need one, but if it's better, I'll take it.


 4:07 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't get it... What's wrong with PNG. First MS fails to properly supports PNG, and then they come out with their own standard. Isn't BMP enough? :) I wonder if IE7 secretly supports it already?


 5:07 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I second moltar's oppinion while wondering if the new format has some sort of DRM option that MS may make a requirement some day.


 3:05 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's the great thing about standards - everybody has one.


 9:35 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

[QUOTE]I don't get it... What's wrong with PNG. First MS fails to properly supports PNG, and then they come out with their own standard. Isn't BMP enough? :) I wonder if IE7 secretly supports it already? [\QUOTE]

I don't get it either... PNG is fine.

BMP has no compression though so that is what is wrong with that.

I would bet my first born that IE7 has support for this.

Does anyone think that being able to rotate an image without having to decode and recode it is a rediculous feature to be totting? Who cares what goes on in the backend when I rotate an image, it still rotates.

I am unimpressed and in fact sacred that I may need an M$ operating system to deal with these if they end up in the main stream. I don't see that happening until at least 2008 though.


 9:33 pm on Jun 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unless it will be free and will have better comprassion ratio/quality comparing with JPEG,they will go no where

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