A brief history of HD Photo


HD Photo is an image file format, launched by Microsoft during 2006, specifically for digital photography. It has several innovative features, and lots of patents held by Microsoft. Its earlier name was "Windows Media Photo". It may become standardised as "JPEG XR" ("Extended Range").

Date Topics Commentary
2002? Development Bill Crow started working on HD Photo (perhaps called "Photon") within Microsoft.
2004 Development Microsoft internally started to ramp up development of what became HD Photo.

23-25 May 2006


Microsoft announced "Windows Media Photo", as a sort of default name for what they had been working on.
WinHEC 2006 (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference): under "Print, Graphics, and Imaging"
DCVIEWS: "Windows Media Photo: A New Format for End-to-End Digital Imaging"
Bill Crow: "Licensing Details are Published"

17 November 2006 Launch Microsoft re-named "Windows Media Photo" as "HD Photo". The 1.0 "Release" version of the specifications have this name.
Bill Crow: "Introducing HD Photo"
January 2007 Product Vista launched, supporting HD Photo.
ZDNet: "Vista to give HD Photo format more exposure"
cnet.co.uk: "News.blog: Canon exec fan of HD Photo"
8 March 2007 Launch Microsoft formally announced HD Photo at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) 07 International Convention. Microsoft also announced that it intends to standardize the technology and will be submitting HD Photo to an appropriate standards organization shortly.
8 March 2007 Product First Beta version of HD Photo plug-in for Photoshop CS2 & CS3 available for Windows.
HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software
"Pegasus Imaging Develops and Delivers Adobe Photoshop Plug-in for HD Photo Format"
Adobe's John Nack: "HD Photo format coming to Photoshop"
CNET: "Photoshop gets HD Photo support"
23-27 April 2007 Standard JPEG meeting held in San Jose California. Microsoft introduced their HD Photo (formerly Windows Media Format) proposals, and provided a range of software and picture samples. (This lead to the resolution at the 42nd WG1 Lausanne Meeting below).
JPEG: Press Release, 41st Meeting - San Jose, CA
02-06 July 2007 Standard A resolution adopted at the 42nd WG1 Lausanne Meeting was for WG1 (JPEG) to progress with the JPEG XR work item. (The tentative new name for HD Photo).
DOC: ISO resolutions "Resolutions of the 42nd ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG1 Meeting"
July 2007 Product Lemkesoft: GraphicConverter X | Classic: "adds basic import of HD Photo"
31 July 2007


The Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG), has introduced a new work item for the standardization of Microsoft's® HD Photo file format, tentatively titled "JPEG XR".
Microsoft submitted HD Photo to JPEG for standardization with the commitment to make royalty free grants for its patents that are required to implement the standard.
The standardization process will follow JPEG's conventional standards process, which is defined by JTC-1. Formal balloting of this work item is being submitted to the JPEG national delegations for approval. The ballot deadline for this new project is early October 2007. Finalizing and publishing the completed standard is expected to take up to one year after that.
Microsoft Press Release: "HD Photo Technology Is Considered for Standardization by JPEG"
CNET news.com: "Microsoft photo standard comes into focus"
ZDNet: "Microsoft photo standard comes into focus"
HP - Mostly color perception: "JPEG XR"
CNET news.com: "Turf war between Microsoft's JPEG XR and Adobe's DNG?"
PopPhoto.com: "Why HD Photo Could Be the Next Big Format: An Interview with Microsoft's Bill Crow"

17 August 2007 Product Revised Windows Photoshop plug-in, and first Mac OS X Photoshop plug-in, for HD Photo. These are still Beta, but expected to be the final version.
2 November 2007 Standard JPEG ballot decides to proceed with JPEG XP standardisation project.
CNET news.com: "HD Photo to become JPEG XR"
6 December 2007 Product Non-Beta Windows Photoshop plug-in and Mac OS X Photoshop plug-in for HD Photo.
23 January 2009 Standard Joint Photographic Experts Group: "JPEG XR for Digital Cameras Nears Completion".
17 July 2009 Standard Joint Photographic Experts Group: "JPEG XR (ISO/IEC 29199-2) is now an International Standard and also an ITU-T Recommendation (T.832)".
2009? Product HD Photo to be implemented in chip sets, then these will get used in cameras. According to Josh Weisberg, director of Microsoft's digital-imaging business development, three chip set manufacturers building HD Photo into chip sets include Sunplus Technology and Novatek, Taiwanese companies that design image-processing sensors, and Ability Enterprise, a Taiwanese camera maker that licenses its designs to better-known brands.