With the public announcement of HD Photo, the immediate availability of plugins for PhotoShop CS (2 & 3), and native functionality built into Vista, Microsoft is again innovating.
Microsoft has moved photography forward with HD Photo which promises the following:
- Higher image quality
- Greater preservation of data, and advanced features for today’s digital-imaging applications
- HD Photo offers compression with up to twice the efficiency of JPEG, with fewer damaging artifacts, resulting in higher-quality images that are one-half the file size
- Increased image fidelity, preserving the entire original image content and enabling higher-quality exposure and color adjustments in the image
- The ability to decode only the information needed for any resolution or region, or the option to manipulate the image as compressed data.
Additionally, HD Photo offers both lossless and lossy image compression, and can retain the full dynamic range and color gamut data from a camera’s sensor.
Microsoft is also offering the HD Photo Device Porting Kit, which is available for download at the Microsoft Download Center, allowing manufacturers to add HD Photo support in devices and to other platforms.
As mentioned earlier, HD Photo is natively supported in Windows Vista by a Windows Imaging Component (WIC) codec, and can be similarly supported in Windows XP and Windows Server® 2003 through a free WIC download. HD Photo is also included in Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.
Furthermore, "With support on popular platforms such as Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X, HD Photo will allow consumers to easily view, edit and share images without conversion or special applications. The format also allows for flexible metadata handling and supports industry-standard metadata formats. "
Based on Brandon's suggestion, I downloaded the beta 1 version of Microsoft's forthcoming Expression Design and with it I shall keep you abreast of my (mis)adventures with HD Photo.
An indication of Microsoft's belief in HD Photo is its intention to submit the HD Photo specification to a standards body for certification.
© 2007, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®