Microsoft announced recently that the Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) is contemplating standardization of its "HD Photo" format for still images (tentatively named JPEG XR), which was introduced with Vista. Originally called Windows Media Photo, the new format apparently offers higher compression efficiency, better image fidelity, and more flexible editing options in both lossy and lossless varieties than previous technologies. The news has been met with favorable reactions from camera makers like Hasselblad and Foveon, and JPEG says they believe the standard will "foster breakthrough, innovative products and services in the photography and printing industries that will have widespread value for consumers around the world." The deadline for consideration is in October, but it could take another year to see the standard published.

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Microsoft's HD Photo format considered for new JPEG standard