Microsoft apparently want everyone to start using their HD Photo image format as a replacement for JPEG. They have pledged not to assert patents over it and are going to submit it to an as-yet unnamed standards body.
They even go so far as to offer a free download of a porting kit ‘for implementing the HD Photo still image codec on non-Windows platforms and devices’.
It’s a Windows executable.
Windows XP or Windows Vista is required to install the Device Porting Kit. Once installed, the reference ANSI-C source code can be used on any platform or system with an ANSI-C compatible compiler and associated developement tools. An application capable of displaying or printing Microsoft Word compatible document files is required to access the specifications.
They still don’t get it, do they? Why on earth does one require Windows just to decompress a file archive? If only Microsoft weren’t so hobbled by their pathological need to tie everything to Windows, they might actually produce something useful once in a while.
There’s also a clause that specifically excludes the reference code from being used in programs released under GPL-style licences, which makes me doubt how serious they are about getting HD Photo used everywhere. Everywhere except Linux, maybe.