Microsoft's Windows Media Photo (WMPhoto) to replace JPEG Standard?

Dennis Faas's picture

At the annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, Microsoft unveiled their latest technology in saving and uploading digital photography.

Available for Windows XP and the upcoming Windows Vista, Windows Media Photo ("WMPhoto") suggests a revolutionized means of compressing digital photos. (Source:

Presently, digital photos are converted into the JPEG picture file format when stored on the computer: a standard form of file compression. Converting a digital photograph in JPEG format keeps the picture file size small, while maintaining almost the same quality as the original, larger file.

For example: JPEG compression can typically shrink an image with a 12:1 compression ratio without damaging the original quality of the photograph. This also means that you can store more photos on digital cameras that capture images in a native JPEG format, plus the transmission speed when transferring photos to the PC is greatly increased. (Source:

JPEG Versus Windows Media Photo (WMPhoto)

The makers of Windows Media Photo are suggesting that their new technology will enable users to compress files greater than JPEG, making them more accessible and practical for digital cameras and cellular phones.

Files in the Windows Media Photo format will print faster, transfer faster, and help to elongate the battery life. The compression rate for Windows Media Photo will convert photos at a 24:1 ratio as opposed to the 12:1 ratio of JPEGs.

These photos will be smaller, will use less space (half the size of JPEG files), will be more detailed, and will have a better quality than those done in the JPEG format.

The problem, however, is that there is currently no support for WMPhoto technology. Without the support of companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, and Sony Ericsson, Windows Media Photo might not stand a fighting chance making its debut into the hands of end users. These problems are at present being addressed and the rival for the JPEG format is currently underway. (Source:

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