Microsoft launches HD Photo plug-ins for Photoshop

Microsoft is attempting to push its new HD Photo format into the mainstream with the release of two new Photoshop plug-ins.

Microsoft launches HD Photo plug-ins for Photoshop

The company has released the HD Photo plug-ins for both Photoshop CS2 and CS3, on Windows and Mac platforms. Although not officially supported, the plug-ins may also allow owners of Photoshop Elements and older versions of the full Photoshop to open and edit HD Photo files.

Microsoft is hoping that HD Photo will become the long-term successor to JPEG, although it faces stiff competition from the growing array of emerging image formats.

The company claims HD Photos offers “lossless or high-quality lossy compression”, richer colours and a wider dynamic range than JPEG. The format, which is also known as JPEG XR and Windows Media Photo, is already supported in Windows Vista, although it has yet to win favour from digital camera manufacturers.

Microsoft released beta versions of the plug-ins earlier this summer, and has warned users to upgrade before the end of the year. “On the surface, the released plug-ins look and act identical to the most recent betas,” says Bill Crow, program manager for HD Photo. “Don’t forget that the Beta versions will expire on 31 December, so you should definitely download and install these new released versions.”

You can download the Photoshop plug-ins here.

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