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Microsoft's HD Photo to Become JPEG Standard?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the what's-wrong-with-jpeg dept.

Microsoft 369

Mortimer.CA writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Microsoft has submitted their HD Photo to the JPEG committee: 'Microsoft's ongoing attempt to establish its own photo format as a JPEG alternative (and potential successor) took another step forward today when the JPEG standards group agreed to consider HD Photo (originally named Windows Media Photo) as a standard. If successful, the new file standard will be known as JPEG XR.' Microsoft has made a 'commitment to make its patents that are required to implement the specification available without charge.' While JPEG 2000 exists, HD Photo has several advantages (not the least of which is a lot less CPU power is needed). Is this a big of an issue as ODF/OOXML?"

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369 comments

"Nothing for you to see here; please move along" (0, Redundant)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091181)

How ironic.

Re:"Nothing for you to see here; please move along (4, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091287)

"Nothing for you to see here; please move along"

Wow! The image compression used by Microsoft's HD Photo format is so good that it can reduce any image down to 0 bits!

Where the FUCK is iLife '07??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091413)

Come ON you homosexual deviants in Cupertino. QUIT FUCKING AROUND and update your fucking software every so often. You mincing faggots are worse than Debian...

Re:"Nothing for you to see here; please move along (0)

Bin Naden (910327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091669)

Wow! The image compression used by Microsoft's HD Photo format is so good that it can reduce any image down to 0 bits!
I just modded you +1 funny!

That's easy... (5, Funny)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091975)

Wow! The image compression used by Microsoft's HD Photo format is so good that it can reduce any image down to 0 bits!

It's decompression that's always been the sticky part.

can this be the only solution? (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091187)

I can't for my life figure out how Microsoft or why Microsoft introduces evil into this format and standard, other than Microsoft's track record. Unfortunately, that is sufficient... I'd vote no on any of their proposals.

The future and potential for photography is huge. There are:

  • all the new buyers in the pipeline and hence,
  • all the vendors of digital format pictures
  • conversion to some archival and historical preserve all existing paper documents
  • mapping and navigation software (e.g., Windows Live Earth).
  • web graphics in ever higher definition

Microsoft makes their promise to make this free. Somehow, that just rings a tad hollow. Must we continue to be the Charlie Brown to Microsoft's Lucy?

Re:can this be the only solution? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091313)

Microsoft makes their promise to make this free.
The exact wording from the article is, "offer a royalty-free grant for its patents that are required to implement" --I'm sure there are more details to the offer, but just because it is royalty-free doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be other terms that are deal breakers.

Re:can this be the only solution? (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091633)

Microsoft's license for OOXML, for instance, does not include a patent license; only a promise not to sue, so long as your implementation only uses the necessary portions of details described in the specification, and not details referenced by the specification. IOW, to create an OOXML document importer or exporter, you end up recreating a lot of Microsoft code that isn't covered.

So 1) you can't use code based on the specification in a GPL V2 or GPL V3 program, because you can't satisfy the patent clause, and 2) you can't write any program based on the specification, because Microsoft only promises not sue you for implementing the specification, not for any supporting code that you would need to write to implement the specification.

See http://fussnotes.typepad.com/plexnex/2007/01/analy zing_the_m.html [typepad.com] for example.

Re:can this be the only solution? (4, Informative)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091827)

Though it almost makes we want to spit my coffee, I have to say that I do not see anything evil here... yet. Quite the contrary, it would seem on first blush. An RF grant is pretty clearcut, see the big discussion about that leading up to the famous W3 decision to require RF grants for all new web standards.

Still, there are still ways to game an RF grant, for example, nothing stops Microsoft from supporting slightly off-standard formats in its own software and refusing to grant an RF license covering those changes to other implementors, using the argument that the original RF grant does not cover any extensions. I suppose the big question is, are other implementors free to extend the format also or does the RF grant evaporate as soon as an implementor extends the standard, perhaps in an effort to match Microsoft's own extensions? In which case the playing field would be far from level, and we have seen all too many times what happens when Microsoft manages to tilt the playing field. I simply haven't drilled into this enough to know what is true here, and no doubt, close readers will find other aspects of the grant to worry about.

Remeber FAT (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092063)

The linked document is not from MS directly and is not binding on MS. No doubt all the small print with the hooks is in the actual legal docs.

MS has a track record of submitting its specs/patents to standards bodies and then trying to gouge people later. Look at FAT and SmartMedia for instance.

Re:can this be the only solution? (4, Insightful)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091345)

Well, here's a thought --

They say, "One important aspect regarding the standardization of HD Photo is Microsoft's commitment to make its patents that are required to implement the specification available without charge."

"Alright, fair enough," I think, but then I wonder: "So, what's the application process like, and what are the licensing requirements?"

Might they say something like, "Oh, it's available free of charge, but you can't use it in an OpenSource / FreeSoftware project, because that's uncontrolled, there's no telling what liabilities we'll be exposed to, for letting you implement this, ... (etc etc etc, filler nonsense here.)" ..?

Maybe that's "the trick" here?

Re:can this be the only solution? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091739)

The licence might even require some "works best with Micro$oft Vi$ta" kinda rubbish.

Deja GIF. (3, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091765)

If there are restrictions, Microsoft's HD photo will go the way of the GIF format.

Re:Deja GIF. (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091847)

You're right- what's the big deal anyway? We don't have to use jpeg.. lossless compression is better anyway, especially in this era of 700gb hard drives and verizon fios

Re:Deja GIF. (3, Interesting)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091881)

If there are restrictions, Microsoft's HD photo will go the way of the GIF format.

Websites still use gif quite a bit. And the patents have expired, so there's no real reason not to anymore...Personally, I prefer png, but for some reason png hasn't really caught on. I imagine because graphic design schools break web graphics up into 2 categories, full-color jpg, and line-art gif.

Re:can this be the only solution? (5, Interesting)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091911)

They pulled back from a previous licence they were going to release it under, which would have specifically prohibited, for example, a Gimp interface. You can see the old licence details here: http://blogs.msdn.com/billcrow/archive/2006/06/30/ 651898.aspx [msdn.com]

The current licence is *much* more liberal, and I think Microsoft deserve credit for the move. I still don't trust them, but they did make a move in the right direction in this case.

Re:can this be the only solution? (3, Informative)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091377)

They've made what appears to be a legally binding promise they aren't going to dick people over this one using their Open Specification Promise [microsoft.com]. Whereas the OOXML vs. ODF debate has good grounding in one specification being lower quality than the other, HDPhoto really is an improvement over current formats, especially for handling raw images.

Re:can this be the only solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091397)

Exactly. The fact that Microsoft are involved should disqualify the standard from serious consideration. Microsoft are not a digital imaging company, they only reason they have any weight is because of their desktop monopoly.

Hasn't the world suffered enough of MSFT using it's monopoly status as a springboard for anticompetitive behavior?

Here's the specification (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091617)

The specification is available at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/wmphoto.mspx [microsoft.com] to look at.

Here's the text of what you need to agree to in order to download the specification. It doesn't seem particularly bad except the patent bit. It remains to be seen if the JPEG changes actually clear that up.

Microsoft Corporation Technical Documentation License Agreement for the specification "HD Photo"

READ THIS! THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN MICROSOFT CORPORATION ("MICROSOFT") AND THE RECIPIENT OF THE ABOVE REFERENCED MATERIALS, WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL OR AN ENTITY ("YOU"). IF YOU HAVE ACCESSED THIS AGREEMENT IN THE PROCESS OF DOWNLOADING THESE MATERIALS ("MATERIALS") FROM A MICROSOFT WEB SITE, BY CLICKING "I ACCEPT", DOWNLOADING, USING OR PROVIDING FEEDBACK ON THE MATERIALS, YOU AGREE TO THESE TERMS. IF THIS AGREEMENT IS ATTACHED TO MATERIALS, BY ACCESSING, USING OR PROVIDING FEEDBACK ON THE ATTACHED MATERIALS, YOU AGREE TO THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO ACCESS, DOWNLOAD, USE OR REVIEW THE MATERIALS.

For good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are acknowledged, You and Microsoft agree as follows:

1. You may review these Materials only (a) as a reference to assist You in planning and designing Your product, service or technology ("Product") to interface with a Microsoft product, specification, service or technology ("Microsoft Product") as described in these Materials; and (b) to provide feedback on these Materials to Microsoft. All other rights are retained by Microsoft; this Agreement does not give You rights under any Microsoft patents. You may not (i) duplicate any part of these Materials, (ii) remove this Agreement or any notices from these Materials, or (iii) give any part of these Materials, or assign or otherwise provide Your rights under this Agreement, to anyone else.

2. These Materials may contain preliminary information or inaccuracies, and may not correctly represent any associated Microsoft Product as commercially released. All Materials are provided entirely "AS IS." To the extent permitted by law, MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, DISCLAIMS ALL EXPRESS, IMPLIED AND STATUTORY WARRANTIES, AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY TYPE IN CONNECTION WITH THESE MATERIALS OR ANY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THEM.

3. If You are an entity and (a) merge into another entity or (b) a controlling ownership interest in You changes, Your right to use these Materials automatically terminates and You must destroy them.

4. You have no obligation to give Microsoft any suggestions, comments or other feedback ("Feedback") relating to these Materials. However, any Feedback you voluntarily provide may be used in Microsoft Products and related specifications or other documentation (collectively, "Microsoft Offerings") which in turn may be relied upon by other third parties to develop their own products, services or technology ("Third Party Products"). Accordingly, if You do give Microsoft Feedback on any version of these Materials or the Microsoft Offerings to which they apply, You agree: (a) Microsoft may freely use, reproduce, license, distribute, and otherwise commercialize Your Feedback in any Microsoft Offering; (b) You also grant third parties, without charge, only those patent rights necessary to enable Third Party Products to use, implement or interface with any specific parts of a Microsoft Product that incorporate Your Feedback; and (c) You will not give Microsoft any Feedback (i) that You have reason to believe is subject to any patent, copyright or other intellectual property claim or right of any third party; or (ii) subject to license terms which seek to require any Microsoft Offering incorporating or derived from such Feedback, or other Microsoft intellectual property, to be licensed to or otherwise shared with any third party.

5. Microsoft has no obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any Microsoft Offering, or the confidentiality of Your Feedback, including Your identity as the source of such Feedback.

6. This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Washington. Any dispute involving it must be brought in the federal or state superior courts located in King County, Washington, and You waive any defenses allowing the dispute to be litigated elsewhere. If there is litigation, the losing party must pay the other party's reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and other expenses. If any part of this Agreement is unenforceable, it will be considered modified to the extent necessary to make it enforceable, and the remainder shall continue in effect. This Agreement is the entire agreement between You and Microsoft concerning these Materials; it may be changed only by a written document signed by both You and Microsoft.

there is a simple test to validate its openness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091751)

Can there be a legally implemented version of this standard licensed under the GPL version 3?

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091193)

Hopefully it'll be better documented than the poor "standard" OOXML [wikipedia.org]...

Oh, I've got a suggestion as well (0)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091229)

See, you stand over this device. It will, at random, swing a large weight up from the floor and hit you in the testicles. You will pay thousands of dollars for it and enjoy it. The Japanese are already using it as the basis for a game show [youtube.com]. Microsoft can adopt the technology and sue the Japanese for infringement.

Nonsensical? Absurd? Just as nonsensical as this proposal.

Re:Oh, I've got a suggestion as well (2, Funny)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091799)

Oh, trauma to the groin, boys
Trauma to the groin
Nothing's quite as funny
As a trauma to the groin
There is no wit more pretty
There is no joke divine
Or limerick as witty
As a trauma to the groin


- Heywood Banks

Re:Oh, I've got a suggestion as well (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091859)

Whoops... Make that ending "Or limerick delicious as a trauma to the groin". Damn my brain and its incessant filling-in of the wrong words!

Grammar nazis (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091233)

Before a ton of posts show up bitching the last sentence, you should ask yourself is grammar a big of an issue as you think?

Re:Grammar nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091501)

Before a ton of posts show up bitching the last sentence, you should ask yourself is grammar a big of an issue as you think?
Dear doombringerltx,

You have been identified as a nazi of the grammar nazis
Please pack your bags

Re:Grammar nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091535)

Before a ton of posts show up bitching the last sentence, you should ask yourself is grammar a big of an issue as you think?

That depends: do you wish people to misunderestimate your IQ?

Re:Grammar nazis (3, Funny)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092045)

Before a ton of posts show up bitching about the last sentence, you should ask yourself, "Is grammar as big of an issue as you think?"

Fixed.

"without charge" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091263)

But restrictions to block code using it that is licensed under the GPL?

As long as anyone can implement it ... (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091265)

The key issue is not whether it is coming from MSFT or if it gives MSFT any leg up. They key issue, can anyone implement the standard directly without payments, without agreements without any restrictions? MSFT can very well say, there is no payment but all implementors should sign some agreement with us. Then there could be a clause that could revoke the agreement. Thus if any competitor gets too big MSFT can pull the rug from under them.

If the specification is as free as ASCII, to use one example, then there is nothing wrong in adopting that as a standard.

Re:As long as anyone can implement it ... (5, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091497)

They key issue, can anyone implement the standard directly without payments, without agreements without any restrictions? MSFT can very well say, there is no payment but all implementors should sign some agreement with us. Then there could be a clause that could revoke the agreement.
You're not thinking deviously enough. What they REALLY want to do is have all of the most popular Web data formats require the use of their patents, and then issue a blanked right to use those patents for free to anyone... but in a way that's not GPLv3 compatible.

This is Microsoft's dream because you can't contest it in court. The agreement you're violating if you mix this technology with GPLv3 code is NOT the agreement with Microsoft, but the GPLv3! You would have to sue the FSF in order to use Microsoft's image format in your GPLv3 code.

For all that I despise the tactic, I have to admit that it's a clever little hack.

Re:As long as anyone can implement it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091703)

For all that I despise the tactic, I have to admit that it's a clever little hack.

Yeesh, could you use "hack" more pretentiously?

Something like this has obviously been in the works for a while, not rushed out to combat the latest FSF stunt. On the contrary, the problem here is a consequence of the FSF turning the GPL into a sneaky little tar pit to trap developers.

Anyway, even if that were Microsoft's intention, what's to "despise"? They're not the one trying to tie developers' hands.

Re:As long as anyone can implement it ... (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092027)

They're not the one trying to tie developers' hands.

I imagine you are implying by this that the GPL proponents are trying to tie developers' hands?

Re:As long as anyone can implement it ... (2, Interesting)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091725)

I'm not seeing how they would cleanly construct such an attack. The patent license restrictions in GPLv3 are very specific - I don't think that Microsoft can come up with a licensing setup that would run into trouble with the GPL and still be considered distributable by "Open Source" type vendors.

Even if they did come up with such a patent license, the vendors can simply ship libjpegxr as a platform library and still not have any trouble with the GPLv3.

Re:As long as anyone can implement it ... (4, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091831)

So, what you are saying is that Microsoft is playing the same game as GPL3, except to their advantage, not FOSS or GPL3 or ......

Begun the license wars have.

It's A Trap. EULA to view the specs (4, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091685)

It just so happens I am planning an HD Image product, service or technology and the spec is totally hostile to everyone BUT microsoft. (no surprise there)

1. 1. You may review these Materials only (a) as a reference to assist You in planning and designing Your product, service or technology ("Product") to interface with a Microsoft product, specification, service or technology

Mac/Linux/BSD? Nope. So, that appears to rule out web-based stuff. Fortunately, I'm only working on Windows, so I'll read on. ...You may not (i) duplicate any part of these Materials
Okay I won't. But how does my engineering group work with the spec if I can't duplicate it?

any Feedback you voluntarily provide may be used in Microsoft Products
Okay, I won't provide any feedback. It was once believed that developers were Microsoft's focus. Apparently not anymore.

Without going into specifics because the EULA prevents it, there are proprietary elements hidden inside this spec.

It's clear they are *very* late to the pro-photo fight that is on now between Apple and Adobe. Each of those companies has a proprietary "pro photo" format.

Sadly most pro photographers won't think about the consequences of adopting proprietary formats until it is too late. For example, some legacy proprietary raw images as provided by the camera manufacturers are not backward compatible. I've read it in the mailing lists already.

Re:It's A Trap. EULA to view the specs (3, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091949)

1. 1. You may review these Materials only (a) as a reference to assist You in planning and designing Your product, service or technology ("Product") to interface with a Microsoft product, specification, service or technology
Mac/Linux/BSD? Nope
Where do you see that exclusion? If you're downloading details on HD Photo, that's a Microsoft specification. Your product, service, or technology will be interfacing with a steam of binary data which is expected to be in the proper format i.e. adhering to specification.

You may not (i) duplicate any part of these Materials
Okay I won't. But how does my engineering group work with the spec if I can't duplicate it?
"Hey, guys, go to http://microsoft.com/really_neat_spec [microsoft.com] and download it for review."

any Feedback you voluntarily provide may be used in Microsoft Products
Okay, I won't provide any feedback. It was once believed that developers were Microsoft's focus. Apparently not anymore.
*sigh* In this litigious society, some smart-ass might report a bug or request an enchancement. Microsoft might get it and implement a fix or the added feature. Smart-ass might get the brilliant idea of filing suit against Microsoft for stealing his idea. It's a CYA move.

There's PLENTY wrong with Microsoft spearheading a format and being very active in getting it consumed as a world standard. We'd do well to avoid it since it's basically steps two and three of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish." Why should they embrace something when the rest of the industry will handle the leg work of getting the Embrace phase down?

It's bad on it's merits alone. FUDing it up doesn't help anyone.

Hey Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20092105)

You may review these Materials only (a) as a reference to assist You in planning and designing Your product, service or technology ("Product") to interface with a Microsoft product

Clear enough?

Re:It's A Trap. EULA to view the specs (1)

brainnolo (688900) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092135)

It's clear they are *very* late to the pro-photo fight that is on now between Apple and Adobe. Each of those companies has a proprietary "pro photo" format.
Since when Apple has a proprietary photo format? And about Adobe, if you are referring to DNG, the format is really open and there are already many third party implementations in the wild. Actually it would be extremely positive for the photographers and software developers if all camera manufacturers switched to DNG.

You know they will probibly try it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091269)

I wonder if they will implement DRM in their new format?

could someone enlighten me? (1)

Paktu (1103861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091291)

Could someone enlighten me on this issue? I don't really understand the problems with the existing format...

From TFA:
"JPEG XR features include fixed or floating point high dynamic range, wide gamut image encoding, better compression compared to JPEG, lossless compression, the ability to store 16 or 32 bits of data per color, and support for CMYK, RGB, monochrome, and embedded ICC color profiles."

Is any of this going to matter to the vast majority of users? It's not like I care about compression when I'm dealing with 500kb image files.

Re:could someone enlighten me? (2, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091379)

Your digital camera puts out 500kb native resolution files?

Re:could someone enlighten me? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091939)

Your digital camera puts out 500kb native resolution files?
Yeah, he does all his photography with one of these [amazon.co.uk].

352 pixels x 288 pixels x 3 bytes/pixel = 304,128 bytes uncompressed!

Re:could someone enlighten me? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091387)

It's not like I care about compression when I'm dealing with 500kb image files.

OK, how about a 1GB file? (8 megapixel * 32 bits/CYMK)
Or how about 5,000 500KB images?

Don't forget that most pictures taken with digital cameras these days are full of noise, and generally crap.

Re:could someone enlighten me? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091737)

OK, how about a 1GB file? (8 megapixel * 32 bits/CYMK)
I'm not sure how you work that out. 32-bits per channel, CMYK (i.e. 4 channels), gives 16 bytes per channel. For an 8 megapixel image, that's a 128MB image. I'm not sure what kind of camera generates a CMYK image, since CMYK is subtractive mixing, and cameras record light, so RGB seems more likely, giving only three channels. Most CCDs are at most 12 or 14bits. At 14 bits per channel, this only gives 42MB for an uncompressed 8 megapixel image. Raw formats often include two green values for each pixel (or a cyan one for some), to closer match human eyes, bringing us back to 4 channels, requiring 56MB. Even with a raw image, we are still a long way away from 1GB/image.

You won't get to CMYK or 32 bits per channel from a source image and if you're sane then you won't ever store this image (unless you're exporting for a print fun), you'll store the sequence of transforms on the original image. Destructive editing is a quaint idea, but not a good one.

Re:could someone enlighten me? (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091875)

maybe he's talking about images off a computer? like a 3d render, or an illustration of some sort which has to be rediculously big, detailed, printed, and compressed.

Re:could someone enlighten me? (3, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091549)

I'm thinking of cameras: JPEG is 24-bit, or 8-bit x 3 channels. Camera sensors can pick up more than that, however. Better compression also means better use of memory cards.

Most importantly, lossless compression might mean that you don't need to shoot in RAW all the time, and be at the camera manufacturer's mercy.

Re:could someone enlighten me? (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091779)

If you're dealing with small images, sure. But, um... HD photos can be several megabytes in size each. Any hi-res graphic will be affected quite a bit by the quality of compression used to store it.

Yes, the "vast majority" of users won't be affected. They also shouldn't be reading up on this or posting in this thread. Indeed it doesn't concern them. But there's an important minority of users (photographers, artists, other designers) who actually care about image formats.

The same can be said for music, video, etc.

Re:could someone enlighten me? (1)

dexotaku (1136235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092075)

As someone who regularly works on images whose uncompressed size [at only 8-bit/channel RGB] is in excess of 150MB, I find the quest for a new standard pretty relevant. I also find that the suggestion that MS's "open licensing" won't allow for use in GPL'd software suggests that this format might already be dead on the water.

What's wrong with JPEG2000? (1)

DamienMcKenna (181101) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091297)

Honestly, what's wrong with JPEG2000? CPU power has come a long way since it was originally released, so why isn't it more standard?

Re:What's wrong with JPEG2000? (1)

ChronoReverse (858838) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091435)

The kind of patent royalties that Microsoft is promising not to charge is the problem with JPEG2000

Re:What's wrong with JPEG2000? (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091569)

I think JPEGs would be a damn hard standard to overcome. They tried it with PNGs to overcome the GIF legal encumbrances, but just what percentage of images out there in the wild are PNGs?

Quite frankly, I think JPEGs as they stand are too far along now for something that, with modern CPU power, offers an almost imperceptible advantage, to get any traction. Ten years ago, when computers and the Internet were slower, they might have had a chance, but now, no way.

There are too many real things to hate and fear Microsoft over. This appears to me to be a nonstarter, sort of like MSN has turned out to be for web searching.

Re:What's wrong with JPEG2000? (4, Insightful)

cmowire (254489) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091705)

The problems largely boil down to:
  1. JPEG2000 is covered by patents that haven't been properly licensed
  2. JPEG2000 has very little software support, wheras good old JPEG will work eveyrwhere. Which helps your average user who doesn't want to need an image editor.
  3. The digital camera market has standardized to RAW for cases where JPEG isn't good enough. Neither the existing JPEG2000 nor HD Photo are designed to store un-demosaiced data from the sensor. This allows a RAW converter to offer smarter noise reduction and sharpening modes... and it's not trivial enough of an operation that any arbitrary JPEG2000-ish tool should be forced to implement properly.
  4. People don't quite realized the level of screwed we are with respect to TIFF [wireheadarts.com], so it still seems "good enough" for most folks.
  5. Adobe, who has the photo-editing market by the balls, would rather have you stuck with their proprietary formats as much as possible.

Public Domain (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091315)

If they are truly interested in making the patents "available", they would simply surrender the patents into the public domain. Since they have not done this, assume they will not always make the patents "available" to everyone or will have special cases where it is not available (for example, to extend the specification, or to set up a company that certifies HD Photo implementations, or "no government use without paying us", etc).

Will be obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091339)

To capture a scene that the human eye can ascertain, you need a dynamic range of 100,000 .. personally I'd like cameras to eventually capture far more than the human eye's dynamic range. I dont see this thing supporting that .. what a waste .. it'll eventually be useless and have to get replaced. Of course some idiot will patent the idea of simply incrementing the number of bits in the specification. Blocking any capability of higher dynamic range.

Re:Will be obsolete (1)

astonish (177831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091425)

The specs have both 16 and 32-bit per channel ranges. 128-bit floating point colour is pretty high dynamic range I'd say.

Open Formats People!!!! (2, Insightful)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091349)

Come on Microsoft! Stop making things so complicated.
Please just make the freaking standard open and available.

It's a 'standard', right? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091391)

Y'know, I've been reading the comments on Slashdot for years now, and I've noticed that a lot of people tend to label anything Microsoft submits to ISO or SMPTE or ECMA or whomever as "evil". So I guess this begs the question: if and when one of these standards is actually ratified as a "standard", what makes it less of a standard than some other competing standard? ITU's H.264 vs SMPTE's VC-1 (better known as Windows Media Video 9)?

Re:It's a 'standard', right? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091629)

It's not the standards issue that bothers us, but the licensing one. Well, actually, in the case of OOXML, it's more the fact that it's utterly useless, and without knowledge thus far not publicly document (ie. how Word 97 justifies), cannot be implemented.

Re:It's a 'standard', right? (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091641)

So I guess this begs the question

No, it doesn't. Don't use phrases if you don't know what they mean.

what makes it less of a standard than some other competing standard?

It might not be "less of a standard", but it might be a less useful standard standard anyway, due to restrictions placed on its use (see JPEG2000); Microsoft specifically has a record of trying to pull crap like that.

Re:It's a 'standard', right? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091851)

It might not be "less of a standard", but it might be a less useful standard standard anyway, due to restrictions placed on its use (see JPEG2000); Microsoft specifically has a record of trying to pull crap like that.

Out of curiosity, exactly when did MS submit a standard and then sue over patent infringments?

Re:It's a 'standard', right? (0, Flamebait)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091915)

On the "begs" thing, you're right by classical usage, and arguably wrong as popular usage eventually becomes standard in evolution of all language.

But mostly, you're just being a pedantic jerk.

Re:It's a 'standard', right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091741)

So I guess this begs the question

I think you mean "raises the question" --> Begging the question [wikipedia.org]

Specs look good, what about the license? (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091411)

Seems the specs are pretty good, But what about the license?

Are we going to have the same initial jpeg 2000 issues with licenses? Sounds like another license scam, its not free for consumers, there are submarine patents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG_2000 [wikipedia.org] check the License Issues section...

transfer all control or forget it (5, Insightful)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091475)

If MS gives away all rights to the format spec and any algorithms required to use it, fine. JPEG can declare particular implementations in compliance or not. Otherwise, no way.

let me see that dong... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091571)

dong, dah, dong dong dong

Oh God! Of course it's a big deal. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091587)

This is as big a deal as pictures. M$ is sure to make this one of those awefull non-standards like ACPI, MTP and a host of other. Want to bet their idea of a no charge "implementation" is a NDA protected SDK? They will then force it onto any camera makers who care to have their devices work with Windoze in the future. Then they will sabotage the alternatives so that their "captive" audience will have trouble sharing pictures with everyone else and themselves. In the worst of cases, there will be dozens of incompatible implementations, all guarded by a M$ patent, that leave people's photo albums locked down.

What, me cynical? Hell yes, and the evidence is in your face. If jpeg 2000 is not good enough, there's PNG. If M$ cared to improve imaging, they would simply surrender their patents and let others improve existing standards. But no, they don't like free formats and will do everything in their power to crush them [theregister.co.uk].

Let's just hope this bad idea dies with Vista [slashdot.org].

Re:Oh God! Of course it's a big deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091691)

For your part, such concerns about Microsoft are invalidated by idiocy and complete ignorance of raster image-file formats.

Re:Oh God! Of course it's a big deal. (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091815)

It's entirely possible that Microsoft could offer reasonable patent licensing terms. They do, for example, with the SOAP specification.

What we don't know is the problem (1, Troll)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091627)

I don't care that it's Microsoft. Here's what I care about:

Patented? Yes, so it's a problem
If patented, Royalties or License restrictions? We see no royalties, but what about license restrictions? Is it OSS friendly or will it not work within Firefox legally?
Is it effective or does it offer anything we don't already have? I don't know...

Whatever is the next big format (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091645)

There is a simple truth that has to be made, it has to be 100% open and 100% free of patent infringment, so there's nothing to come back and bite people in the rear. To bad the ogg people dont work on this.

MS patents (4, Informative)

SillySilly (843107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091653)

One of the requirements of the JPEG comittee for this proposed standard is that Microsoft (and all other participants of this process) provide their patents on a free and non-discriminatory basis. Free as in beer, no money. Non-discriminatory meaning that anyone can license them; Microsoft can't say that only certain developers are "cool enough" or "good enough" to receive a license. Many of the JPEG standards operate under these terms: the baseline process of the original JPEG, JPEG2000 part 1, and others.

Re:MS patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091899)

Rest assured, one way or another Microsoft will weasel a competitive advantage out of any standardization.

Besides, when OpenEXR is already used throughout the industry, why would anyone want a "dirty" Microsoft file format?

PNG (2)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091675)

With the amount of memory imaging devices (digital camera, etc) have these days why not go a lossless compression route, like png? PNGs support alpha transparencies, layers, etc and it is a completely open standard.

JPEG 2000 (0, Redundant)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091723)

Why did JPEG 2000 not take-off? It looks much better than JPEG. Did patents kill it?

Re:JPEG 2000 (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091861)

Did patents kill it?

Yes, they did. I remember this software, Irfanview, that allows you to read JP2 files. Oh, but to write them, you had to license ($buy$) the extension to be able to write in formats bigger than 640x480.

The result: Nobody gave a dime for Jpeg2000.

To put it in other words, patents (or licensing restrictions, actually) are the bane of image formats. Put a tiny restriction on the format, and people will go for a free unencumbered one. Like what happened with GIF and PNG.

Re:JPEG 2000 (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091987)

Like what happened with GIF and PNG.

Most people didn't care about the GIF patents. Adobe paid the licensing fee so Photoshop could write GIFs and most people didn't notice.

People switched to PNGs when internet connections got faster and the average user started using high color depths, 256 color GIFs unattractive compared to true color PNGs.

How much do you want to bet that (1, Troll)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091733)

this standard is going to come with a way to put DRM in photos that can only be viewed with licenses, just like some WMV files? The porn industry would be all over that, and I'd bet they are financially backing them. It would be so easy to implement, especially with all the DRM-friendly coding that has gone into the Vista kernel.

Mark my words, M$ is looking for a way to put DRM in EVERY conceivable form of media. I've read articles about HARDWARE implementations that make moving of certain file types (mp3's, avi's) and other files that are not locked by DRM, to become locked. They have their own Audio and Video DRM, they are working on photo's, and soon the version of office will include DRM for all documents, spreadsheets and the like.

You'll see..

How does this compare to OpenEXR? (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091769)

Would someone who understands these issues please explain how this standard is similar and different to OpenEXR?

http://www.openexr.com/ [openexr.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenEXR [wikipedia.org]

Is OpenEXR more computationally expensive? (In other words, would the Microsoft format allow for longer battery life and shorter time interval between taking pictures?)

Actually, are there any cameras available that can capture to OpenEXR? If not, perhaps that's a clue.

"bloating will begin and last through October" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091795)

From TFA:

Now that the JPEG committee has begun the standardization process, bloating will begin and last through October of this year.
Oh balloting. I guess I'm so expecting this HD standard to be bloat-crazy.

HDR video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091809)

What's the equivalent standard for video? Is it just a system to rapidly display JPEG XR's in succession? I suppose the compression techniques used in MPEG can applied here too.

Don't wreck it... (1)

flar2 (938689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091845)

I just want to be able to take pictures with my camera, load them on any computer, edit them with any application, share them with anybody I want however I want, all without having to worry about politics, patents, payments or compatibility. This is pretty much what we have now. If anyone were to wreck it, I'll have to throw my computer in the trash and go back to film.

JPEG2000 (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091885)

Actually there is a JPEG successor: JPEG2000, a wavelet coder, but it never took off. I personally think there are two reasons: 1) Well JPEG is good enough for most people. The efficient implementations are vast. There is little need for change for both the consumer and the industry. 2) Patent issues. So even JPEG2000 is not yet accepted, will this new format work? TFA says it requires less computationally power. Do anyone have any benchmarks?

it's A Trap (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091917)

The spec is publicly available. I'm not sure how this interacts with the EULA: http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:IHRfofXSXt4J:d ownload.microsoft.com/download/1/6/a/16acc601-1b7a -42ad-8d4e-4f0aa156ec3e/HDPhoto_v10.doc+HD+Photo+u ses+an+advanced+compression+scheme,+there+is+no+si mple+way+for+applications+to+directly+access+speci fic+portions+of+the+stored+photo+data+other+than+t hrough+the+appropriate+codec+interfaces.&hl=en&ct= clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a [72.14.253.104]

The API that provides this spec is probably proprietary and will be jealously guarded.

HD Photo uses an advanced compression scheme, there is no simple way for applications to directly access specific portions of the stored photo data other than through the appropriate codec interfaces.

Rather than use a series of metadata tags to attempt to describe the attributes of an image's structure, HD Photo uses a unique GUID to provide a non-ambiguous definition of the image pixel format.

Not really suitable for raw camera images (4, Interesting)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#20091961)

Taking a quick glance at Microsoft's HDPhoto standard [microsoft.com] it looks like it is not really suitable for capturing raw image data for cameras.

In a digital camera, a pixel is red, green, blue and sometimes additional colors laid out in a pattern that can differ from camera to camera. A pixel is not RGB (unless it's a Fovon sensor), so standard lossless formats like PNG or TIFF won't work. HDPhoto supports N color channels and more than 8 bits per color, but I do not see support for the raw CCD data, which is usually not RGB, but R, G, or B (sometimes with additional colors).

I like to preserve my pictures in RAW format since as time goes by, the algorithms to convert the image to a RGB image suitable for displaying keep improving. Also, when editing my photos, some of the processing is done on the raw data before converting it to RGB. Raw data helps for things like noise filtering, for example, since the noise filtering software can be aware of the camera's CCD properties (Noise Ninja, for example, has profiles for my camera at different ISO settings).

The only problem with current raw photos is that each manufacturer seems to have their own format which is incompatible with other manufacturers, or even incompatible between different cameras. It would be nice if they could standardize on something like OpenRAW [openraw.org].

Now, as much as I dislike Microsoft, I think this could be good for regular photos since the compression is about as good as Jpeg2000 (assuming Microsoft isn't spreading FUD) but with a much faster encoding/decoding speed. This could also be a good format for most people taking pictures (who are happy with JPEG).

-Aaron

floating point colour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091963)

what is floating point colour ?

DjVuPhoto / IW44 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20091985)

I've long wished for a better replacement for JPEG. In fact there are better formats out there, like the AT&T-developed but now free DjVu format and its IW44 wavelet compression, but it hasn't gained popularity. In fact, it has been forgotten for so long that it could use some updates, like higher bit depths and an alpha channel, but the basic algorithm is sound.

Is this a big of an issue as ODF/OOXML? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092031)

No, not really. In this case Microsoft is pushing a format that is apparently decent and even has advantages over the competition. In the case of ODF/OOXML they're pushing an "open" format that is not truly open that could cause interoperability problems with other software (which goes against the entire point of an open file format).

Yes, actually. The cat does "got my tongue." (2, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20092057)

> Microsoft has made a 'commitment to make its patents that are required to implement the
> specification available without charge.'

Ok

> While JPEG 2000 exists, HD Photo has several advantages (not the least of which is a lot less CPU power is needed).

Has anybody checked that the more efficient algorithms are among those in the patents to be released? What if they're hiding a patentable, very efficient decompression version, which they'll "discover" and patent, after this becomes the standard?
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