Microsoft has submitted Windows Vista's HD Photo file format to the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), as a royalty-free standard to be known as JPEG XR, which the company hopes will be accepted by mid-2008.

"Our goal has been to develop the ultimate successor to JPEG as the format of choice for all digital photography [and] we also announced earlier this year that we were committed to standardizing HD Photo as an open format," said a blog post Tuesday by Bill Crow, program manager for HD Photo.
Microsoft hopes to win allies such as camera makers to endorse the technology, putting Windows Vista which has built-in support for the file format, squarely in the center of people's digital doings. Furthermore, with an open standard backed by JPEG competitors it won't feel as wary about adopting it.

Microsoft claims the new file format would enable better compression, the ability to capture more information for a given size file and an extended range of tones that can be captured, giving people much of the capability of RAW in a convenient file format. Though, photo enthusiasts seeking to extract all the data from their cameras might still prefer to use RAW, which captures image sensor information without any in-camera processing.