I don’t know how I ended up finding this article, but here’s a good write-up on Microsoft’s new photo format.Ã‚Â The claim is Windows Media Photo will manage roughly double the compression ratio JPEG has while maintaining or bettering JPEG’s visual quality.Ã‚Â If true, this could really catch on.Ã‚Â Even with high-bandwidth connections more readily available, every opportunity to squeeze more signal per bit through the pipe is welcome.
“One of the biggest reasons people upgrade their PCs is digital photos,” Crow said, noting that Microsoft has been in contact with printer makers, digital camera companies and other unnamed industry partners while working on Windows Media Photo. Microsoft touts managing “digital memories” as one of the key attributes of XP successor Vista.
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Not only does compression save storage space, which is especially important for devices such as cell phones and digital cameras, a smaller file can also print faster, transfer faster and help conserve battery life on devices, Crow said. “Making a file that is smaller has all kinds of benefits.”
Will this catch on?Ã‚Â As I said above, I can see the appeal, and if it works out as well as Microsoft is saying it will (read the article formore details of the intelligence in this format), I can only see problems if licensing costs are prohibitive or if Microsoft hate beats out throughput and image manipulation ease concerns.Ã‚Â Even the Microsoft rep realizes that:
Licensing details for the technology are still being ironed out. These could be a concern, Crow acknowledged, but “the philosophy has been that licensing should not be a restriction” to adoption, he said.
Honestly, I’m hoping Microsoft doesn’t pull an Apple and over-price this.Ã‚Â I’d like to see a better image format soon.
[tags]Microsoft, JPEG, photo format[/tags]