Microsoft Proposes the End of JPEG

Microsoft is submitting their HD Photo format to an international standards organization and hopes that, someday, the format will supplant JPEG, according to IDG News service.

The format, previously named Windows Media Photo met with objections from partners and was renamed HD Photo back in November, although HD doesnit really stand for "high definition" according to Microsoft.

"Microsoft said HD Photois lightweight algorithm causes less damage to photos during compression, with higher-quality images that are half the size of JPEG," IDG reported. Also, the format can support both lossless and lossy compression.

Other formats, superior to JPEG, have come and gone. JPEG 2000 is a superior format but has not been broadly accepted. The same is true of the PNG format.

Another factor to consider is licensing. Back in January, C|Net reported on the HD Photo format. While Microsoftis licensing details were not fully revealed, it appeared that it is not Microsoftis intention to use the format to make "billions of dollars."

In the end, many interests are involved, and JPEG has considerable momentum in the industry. However, Microsoft has gained an important ally, Adobe. "In the next two months, Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft will release plug-ins for CS3 and CS2 versions of its widely used Photoshop program for Vista, XP and Apple [Mac] OS X," according to IDG.

Even so, Adobeis Kevin Connor told C|Net, "Replacing JPEG is a massive, massive undertaking, as JPEG really works well for people. JPEG is an open standard that is supported everywhere, on every device and every browser and every workflow."