MS WMPhoto Renamed HDPhoto, Officially Released
Microsoft has re-christened their competitor to JPEG and JPEG2000, Windows Media Photo as HD Photo. The licensing terms have also been revised.
We have also made a substantial change to the licensing. The previous Windows Media Photo Device Porting Kit (DPK) evaluation and distribution license agreements are gone. We have replaced them with a straight-forward click-to-install End User License Agreement (EULA) for the new HD Photo 1.0 Device Porting Kit. It’s now easy for anyone to receive the complete HD Photo DPK, including the compressed bitstream specification and the ANSI-C reference source code. The DPK is free, and we have eliminated all distribution royalties. HD Photo is 100% free for all developers.
The new HD Photo 1.0 Device Porting Kit (DPK) is available and contains complete C code.
Microsoft first announced the WMP (now HDP) format in May this year as a Jpeg Killer and claim that HD Photo delivers a lightweight, high performance algorithm with a small memory footprint that enables practical, in-device encoding and decoding. It delivers compression quality comparable with JPEG-2000 and more than twice the quality of JPEG.
But a report by Graphics and Media Lab at Moscow State University (MSU) concludes “WMP’s quality is quite average, and there are no signs of “revolution” in compression ratio” and that “some one-year old implementations of JPEG 2000 significantly outperform WMPhoto in objective and subjective comparison”.
And the original JPEG aren’t playing just ’spectators’ to all this, they are working on a revised improved JPEG extension.
Add to this the large number of proprietary offerings in market and it seems like this format war is just getting started.