Microsoft Moves Adroitly on Digital Imaging

Opinion: The decision to simplify the importation of images in the Raw format in future operating systems should please both photographers and developers.

You have to hand it to Microsoft. When it wants to, it certainly can make things happen. It can even make peace happen.

Digital imaging has seen a format insurgency of late, with every camera supplier coining its own format. Nikon, Canon, Sony and Olympus all have their own, thoroughly obfuscated, partially encrypted, DMCA-protected, software-patented and assuredly most superior format. Their precious, theirs alone. Hear the buzzing? The litigious vultures circling?

Some poor photographers and less poor developers were heard muttering that, after all, the files contained user images, and users should be allowed to read them at will. Ha! These errant souls were obviously in need of an airlift to a vulture nest. The most forward of these users even petitioned: See for the sideshow.

Now, Microsoft has come and said, in effect, "All your formats belong to us." Miraculously, every camera maker under the sun is playing nice. Yes, Ive now seen Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Adobe actually signing off on the same press release!

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