Saturday, May 27, 2006

Microsoft shows off JPEG rival

Microsoft shows off JPEG rival | CNET

You've all read about this that care by now, but MS has come out with Windows Media Photo, a competing digital image format. We'll I'm going to think not about the tech, but about how MS can sell this.

What is the big selling point with calling it Windows Media Photo? This will probably be a one of the biggest hurdles I think to quick adoption. MS probably feels that by identifying this new product with an existing success, more folks will be interested. Based on my close friends' and family's experiences with Windows and their apparent frustration, I'm betting just the opposite is true.
(It doesn't matter that few of their problems are the OS fault, they can't tell the difference.)

And what about us Mac owners, is having 'Windows' in the title a big selling point for us? Great or not, there will be slow adoption, especially if the formatting tools and the spec aren't open, as in Open Source, and free, as in beer.

But, MS is appealing to photographers, and surely better storage is what it's all about right? Well, today's modern cameras have another format in wide use, Raw. Raw image storage is very common in high end cameras, and is already offering the qaulity folks need. Are manufacturers likely to drop Raw and Jpeg support for this new kid on the block?

So, tired of hearing me kvetch? Here's my tips for MS on this one(pretends they care):
1) Loose the Windows name - if it's good, it'll sell itself
2) Get that spec out there to the OSS community
3) Give away some free tools/toys for us wannabe photogeeks to play with
4) Partner now with some random camera maker and get the software on their camera, and then give them away! You wouldn't need to give out a million, heck, I bet less than a thousand, I'll go so far as to say, the right 100 folks getting one of these would do you.
5) Oh yeah, don't forget, folks that read my blog dig Microsoft!
6) Last useful tip, give away a jpeg/raw/WMP converter tool.

MS, let's see this new format/algorhythm shine or die, but let's see it.


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