Microsoft’s new format could replace JPEG within a year

by Sally J.

Just days after I wrote about how Microsoft is making a concerted effort to render JPEG obsolete, I learned that folks in the library/archives world have been discussing the possibility of JPEG 2000 as an acceptable format for long term digital preservation. Instead of, or in addition to, TIFF.

I learned about this from Jill Hurst Wall’s Digitization 101 blog. Jill had a post about JPEG 2000, which led me to a post at Peter Murray’s blog (still with me?) in which he gives 5 reasons why he thinks JPEG 2000 is a good choice for preservation. For more information, see the official JPEG2000 page and wikipedia entry.

But before you get too excited about JPEG 2000…

Yesterday brought some important news from the digital photo preservation front, via ArsTechnica. Here’s the opening paragraph:

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.

The best news about this is that JPEG XR (what the JPEG standards group is calling Microsoft’s HD Photo format) has lossless compression, which is a great improvement over the original JPEG format. But then so did JPEG 2000.

For more information about Microsoft’s HD Photo, read the full article at

No word yet on how easy/difficult it will be to
upgrade all of our digital photos into the new format.

But, hey! It’ll be the perfect excuse for all of us the check those CDs and DVDs and make sure they still work, right?


Related articles:
Does Microsoft’s new format spell the end of JPEG?

Jane February 20, 2009 at 7:52 pm

What a great post! (And great blog.) I am hopeful that as technology develops, there will always be folks who will specialize in converting from one format to another (for a fee, of course).

Sally J. August 16, 2007 at 12:05 pm

PNG was created as a replacement for GIF — which had patent problems. I don’t think digital cameras are going to start capturing photos as PNG.

For a description of PNG with links to additional sources, see the Wikipedia entry.

Chris August 15, 2007 at 12:29 am

Wasn’t PNG supposed to be the better JPEG? I realise that Microsoft didn’t invent that..

Sally J. August 12, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Peter, thanks for stopping by — and thanks for sharing your expertise on your marvelous blog.

Peter Murray August 4, 2007 at 11:30 pm

I found your link to my older blog post. You may be interested in a posting I just made with thoughts about HD Photo: JPEG XR Could Be Neat, but JPEG2000 is Still Neater.

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