The multiple countries participating in the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the JPEG standard, have approved an effort to make Microsoft's HD Photo format a standard called JPEG XR, said Bill Crow, who has led Microsoft's HD Photo effort and who just took over the company's Microsoft Live Labs Seadragon imaging project. XR stands for "extended range," a reference to the format's ability to show a wider and finer range of tonal gradations and a richer color palette.
"The country vote is done, and it passed," Crow said. "That means the International JPEG committee has decided to go ahead and create the standard. Now it's just a process of doing that work," a process that will begin later this month in a meeting in Kobe, Japan.
Microsoft will have to be patient however, as standardization usually takes a year.