Microsoft’s ‘HD Photo’ to Become JPEG XR

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), which created the image standard of the same name, has given its okay to a move that would change Microsoft’s current HD Photo format to a new standard to be dubbed JPEG XR, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Live Labs Seadragon imaging project is run by Bill Crow, who said the various nations that make up JPEG have now given their blessing to the new name and standard, which will lengthen the range (XR means “extended range”) of photo images capable of a more detailed array of tonal gradation and a broader, more subtle variety of colors.

Crow said the process of creating the new standard will soon begin at a meeting in Kobe, Japan, according to CNET.

The move will eventually transform the current format from an in-house technology (Windows Media Photo) to a neutral configuration that presumably would be acceptable to a wide range of outside parties that would not wish to rely on Microsoft as a gatekeeper. (The photo format currently comes with Microsoft’s new Vista operating system).

According to Crow, creating the standard will likely take about one year.