Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Camera RAW in Windows

Microsoft Corp., together with leading companies in the digital imaging industry, today announced enhancements to the family of Windows operating systems that will enable consumers to easily work with RAW files in current and future versions of Windows. Working closely with digital imaging industry leaders including Adobe Systems Inc., Canon Inc., Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. and Nikon Corp., Microsoft plans to deliver native support for digital camera RAW images in the next major version of Windows, code-named "Longhorn."

In addition, Microsoft is enhancing the digital imaging experience for Windows XP with the upcoming availability of the Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP, allowing consumers to view thumbnails and preview and print Canon and Nikon RAW files from Windows Explorer in Windows XP. These features, as well as the ability to organize and edit Canon and Nikon RAW files, will also be available in a future version of Digital Image Suite.

Microsoft also announced it is developing a certification program for third-party RAW image codecs that will ensure their solutions provide a consistent experience for consumers who are using RAW image files. With this new RAW support across the Windows platform and products, Microsoft is enabling a seamless experience for consumers working with RAW digital images and delivering an extensible architecture for hardware and software industry partners.

Microsoft worked with imaging leaders to develop the digital camera RAW architecture in "Longhorn" and to provide the best digital photography experience for Windows consumers. "Longhorn" will deliver dramatic innovation in RAW support for independent software developers, camera manufacturers and consumers. Hardware and software partners will benefit from the standardized architecture for image codecs, which allows them to contribute their own codecs to be certified and implemented in Windows.

Microsoft's platform approach provides built-in support for RAW files, enabling Windows-based applications to use all supported image types, including RAW. This architecture enables software applications to seamlessly support new image types upon codec certification by Microsoft. In addition, "Longhorn" will provide an application programming interface (API) that enables software vendors to exercise a higher degree of control over the RAW conversion in their applications, while enabling market opportunities for professional-level conversion tools.

In addition to announcing the imaging enhancements planned for the next version of Windows, Microsoft is helping Windows XP consumers realize the potential of RAW files. The Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP will soon be available for free download* at http://www.microsoft.com.

The RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer enhances the Windows XP photography experience by providing consumers with thumbnails, previews, printing and metadata display of RAW images directly in Windows Explorer. In addition, a future version of Microsoft Digital Image Suite will offer the ability to organize, edit and convert RAW files.

http://www.microsoft.com

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