View Full Version : Bye bye slightly fuzzy blocky images. Buhbye.

06-19-2006, 09:12 PM
Microsoft takes on .jpg 10:53AM
Microsoft is taking a shot at removing the JPEG file format as the standard for images. At this week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, the company showed off the new format which will be supported in the upcoming Vista operating system.
The company claims that the new image format can display better images with file sizes only half of those of a .jpg. Microsoft has been demonstrating 24:1 compression Windows Media Photo format files that are noticeably more detailed than the JPEG and JPEG 2000 formats.
According to Microsoft, the new specification offers multiple colour formats for display or print, fixed or floating point high dynamic range image encoding, lossless or high quality lossy compression, efficient decoding for multiple resolutions and sub-regions and minimal overhead for format conversion or transformations during decode.
Of course, the issue of licensing immediately comes to mind. Both the JPG (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/news/72119) and the rival GIF format (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/news/43744)were hampered by licensing claims. However, Microsoft is asserting that 'licensing will not be a restriction'.
The full Windows Media Photo format file specification (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/wmphoto.mspx) is available on the Microsoft web site.
:whip: and I think it's about time somone came up with a decent image standard that works everywhere.

El Chuxter
06-19-2006, 09:19 PM
But if it's supported by Windows Vista, what about earlier operating systems?

06-19-2006, 11:08 PM
Interesting, we'll have to see how this develops.

06-20-2006, 07:37 AM
oooohhhh- imagine if the media player wars could be re-fouhgt with images???
every day you get to re-load the latest codec just so you can see advertising...

I ain't as anti-jpeg as some folks tho, so I guess it could be a good thing- as long as any format is back-compatible, WITHOUT re-installing a new OS, to at least Win98 (and if JT were here I'd say 95 but he isn't so :beard: )

Oh well, not like I'm gonna stop it :D

06-20-2006, 02:09 PM
VISTA IS BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE. and even if it wasn't there's clever barstewars out there wo will create a patch that will make it so and another to read new file formats. patience is a thing worth hugging where progress is concerned. There's always more than one way to skin a cat - figuratively speaking.

They're not getting rid of jpegs just creating their own standard to avoid costly lawsuits. Same as MS having to come up with a file that matches PDF because adobe won't let them use the copyrighted file type name 'PDF' the acrobat reader programme is open source but the actual file type is not.

same wth image programmes, they're mostly free to pick and choose which file types to read and support but when creating or editing a file, that's where it gets sticky.

Jpegs are alright, it's a fairly decent file type but it was of it's day and now we need higher definition at reduced file sizes so it's time to have a new standard. I don't particularly care who creates it as long as the damn thing works and saves space. And there's support for it across different platforms.

If it means i get bigger images at high quality without them eating hard drive space then that's great. it'll also help with sites like this too. faster download times on bigger piccies.

06-20-2006, 07:22 PM
The real reason MS is doing this is so that they can control the image editing market, at least get licensing money from any editor that works on their new stuff, just like they do with their WMV video format, it's totally stupid (generally this licensing also leads to halfassed editing patches for the first few new file editors, again see WMV). They're not the first to attempt a new universal image format, there was the interesting JPEG-2000 from a few years ago that used wavelet variable compression and was an open-source item, but it didn't catch on because there was a question of licensing (the code is open, the usage may not be) and it wasn't significantly better than the original JPEG format.

There's also the PNG which is meant to replace the GIF (but not animated GIF), that seems to slowly be catching on and it's license-free.

JPG ain't that bad, it's just that users get a little too compression-happy (and the color green sends it into fits), it does a fine job with most photos which is why many consumer-level cameras shoot and output JPGs now rather than RAWs or BMPs or TIFFs.

Look at the stupidly-long list of image file formats in Photoshop, there's dozens and dozens of these things, what is going to differentiate this new one from all of them so much that we all add it to our computers? Probably nothing, and another "force 'em to use it" ploy will either die a slow, sad death, or ruin the internet some more.

06-20-2006, 08:17 PM
I did use an if. I'm not sayig I'm adopting it til I see it work. but if it can give me a high definition large image with a low file size then it'll be worth looking into. especially where digital photography and storage on memory cards goes.
I'm currently holding off buying a digital SLR camera because the marketplace seems poised for change generally. just a vibe I get looking around reading bits here and there, listening to techy people talk. like hearing a plane before you see it. ish.

for once I'm not goig to be pessimistic. more cautiously anticipating.

06-20-2006, 08:39 PM
MS makes a lot of promises that all the rest make, but until they can deliver the goods, I am not hearing any of it *especially* from them, they're the worst f'ing offenders in boasting what their product can't deliver. And especially when they're claiming they're going to dethrone the most ubiquitous image file format of all time, so common it's built into cellphones and refrigerators.

And It still seems to me like this is a scheme to get camera makers and software writers to pony up cash or control (or both) to MS and we the consumer end up getting the shaft.

It's not like most machines can even display the full image quality of anything over a JPG anyway, the only way they can do this is to make the image physically larger, they can't cram more pixels into space that the video card and monitor don't display.

And considering they're claiming this is all about bypassing licensing problems, I notice they have licensing info on their page about it.

Plus, I can't respect a file extension named ".wmp", too many "wm" extensions already, and plus, it sounds too WIMPY. :p

El Chuxter
06-21-2006, 12:29 AM
Besides, Bill won't be in charge of it, as he's quitting Microsoft so he can team up with Dr Doom and Megatron and wrest the power of the Infinity Gauntlet to assure his universal domination! Bwa-ha-ha! (His laughter, not mine.)

Guy's so rich, he probably has enough to just buy the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. Or whoever has it this week.

06-21-2006, 08:30 AM
There's also the PNG which is meant to replace the GIF (but not animated GIF), that seems to slowly be catching on and it's license-free.

funny, that, seeing as how PNG would be a REALLY popular web graphic if MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER 6 SUPPORTED IT!!!!!!!

now we get MSIE7 that DOES support PNG-24 just in time for them to create a new image "standard" themselves. MS sucks. period.

that said, if it indeed does become as easy to work with/ubiquitous as .JPG, i will use it. like jargo says: if it can get me a higher quality image at a smaller filesize, i'll use anything.