Microsoft launches JPEG rival

By Derek Sooman on May 25, 2006, 2:31 PM
The JPEG image format has been key to the effectiveness of the Web - the cleverly compressed image format made it possible for visually stunning web pages to be developed and browsed by users back in a time where download speeds were like treacle. But now, Microsoft wants to challenge the format's dominance.

At the recent Windows Hardware Engineering conference, Microsoft has unveiled a rival image format - Windows Media Photo file format. Seemingly, this new format has compression technology can offer better images at half the size of a JPEG file, and offers fixed or floating point high dynamic range image encoding. Lossless or high quality lossy compression is also available, and the overhead for format conversion or transformations during decode is minimal. It will help users to save on storage space, and contains features that allow only parts of the image to be compressed if desired.

But is this not going far enough? Can this new format really take on, and overtake JPEG, which is such an established standard? If the compression ratio were, say, ten times better than JPEG, then maybe it might be in with a chance. But is two times the compression really enough for people to sit up and take notice?




User Comments: 2

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canadian said:
If other programs will be able to use this new format, like paint, Firefox, and more, then it might start being used. But only if 3rd party companies support it.
ThomasNews said:
Does this offer anything over PNG? I mean, apart from the fact that IE offers incomplete PNG support. Then, I guess they mightn't necessarily need to worry about that; digital cameras would seem to be a more likely route for getting support for it.[Edited by ThomasNews on 2006-05-26 07:06:56]
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