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After PDF, Microsoft eyeing JPG File Format

If it's up to Microsoft, PDF and JPEG file formats may soon become extinct.

We know that Microsoft has been working on XPS, an XML based Document Format for Windows Vista that is designed as a direct competitor to Adobe's ubiquitous PDF format.

And today at WinHEC, Microsoft has announced a new image format that targets JPEG, the de-facto file format of the web.

While the new image format may be better than existing ones like jpg or gif or png, I don't agree with the name of the format. Why should it have Windows in the name when the format is supposed to work on Apple and Linux machines alike.

Also, the new file format name, Windows Media Photo, brings memories of Windows Metafile (WMF) and Enhanced Metafile (EMF) which largely remained unsuccessful and were overshadowed by GIF and JPEG formats.

The good part here is that the new WMP image format looks promising. Microsoft showed an image with 24:1 compression that visibly contained more detail in the Windows Media Photo format than the JPEG and JPEG 2000 formats compressed at the same level.

Another advantage of WMP over GIF or JPG formats is that you can rotate images without degrading the quality. This is currently not possible with JPEG - with even a slight modification, your image looses some details.

XPS implementations of Windows Media Photo requires the Windows Media Photo Device Porting Kit.

Download Windows Media Photo Specs | DVD Storage Format War